Where Are the 25 biggest deserts in the world? What is a Desert?
A desert isn’t simply a desert: geologists differentiate between sandy, rocky and salt deserts as well as icy wastes (including the two largest in our list of all biggest deserts on earth). However the definition is the same for all of them: a desert only earns the title if less than 5% of its area is covered with vegetation. Together with all the “semi-deserts” around 10% of the earth’s surface is classed as desert.
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Biggest Deserts in the World
Area (sq miles)
Ice desert with an average ice thickness of about 2.2 km. Low-temperature record of -89.2 degrees (measured at Vostok research station).
Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Russia, Finland
Ice desert with temperatures as low as -60°.
Of course, Sahara in Africa is not just one of the biggest deserts in the world. It’s the largest sandy desert on Earth. And ca. 37 times bigger than the UK. Located in 11 countries, about 45 mm of rain p.a., extreme temperature fluctuations between 60° to minus 10° C.
Rub al Khali (Arabian Desert)
Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen
About 9 times as large as the UK, lies to the east of the Sahara on the Arabian Peninsula. With about 10 mm of rainfall a year, the 2nd biggest deserts in the world is one of the driest.
Mongolia, PR China
Extremely dry, sandy desert with temperatures between 30° (daytime) and -65° C at night. 33 mm of rain p.a., extends south to within 70 km of Beijing.
Botswana, Namibia, South Africa
Mostly (red) sand desert. In the north (Botswana) it borders on the animal rich Okavango Delta.
Rock and gravel desert. Ideal backdrop for Westerns, average rainfall 100 mm / year.
Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia
Covers about 65% of the Syrian land area.
Great Basin Desert
USA (Colorado, Utah)
Located in the Sierra Nevada Ranch. Considered one of the so-called “cold deserts”, to the east are the Rocky Mountains.
Mexico & USA
Pronounced “She-wow-wah”, the famous White Sands dunes are found here.
Very sparse but rich in mineral resources such as petroleum.
Great Victoria Desert
Situated in the middle of the continent and about three times larger than the UK. 150-220 mm rain annually, particularly worth seeing: the crescent-shaped dunes of clay.
In English: “no return”. Silk Road desert with Kara Buran sandstorms.
Its name means red sand. Rich in natural resources and fossils.
Great Sandy Desert
So hot and dry that it is uninhabitable in many parts.
USA (California) & Mexico
Home of the famous “Saguaro Cacti” which grow up to 15 m high.
About the size of Great Britain.
Central Australia, Queensland
Largest sand dune desert in the world. With daily high temperatures of up to 58º Celsius, guaranteed to help you work up a sweat. Even if you just want to take a quick look at the “Big Red” dune. It wasn’t until 1936
that a “white man” (Edmund Colson) succeeded in crossing the desert.
Biggest desert in Iran, salt desert.
Named after Alfred Gibson who died during the first crossing in 1873.
Geologists consider it to be the driest desert in the world. It only rains about every 30 years. Since the cold Humboldt stream of the Pacific rarely develops rain clouds. Up to 6,000 meters high in places.
An Nafud (aka Al-Nefud or The Nefud)
The desert with red sand in the northern Arabian Peninsula is known for its sudden trade winds. And high dunes (up to 180 meters). To the south it borders the larger Rub al-Chali. An up to 80 km wide, natural pebble and sand strip (Wadi Adhanah) forms its boundary
Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti
Hot! Daytime temperatures over 50°C on a nice day! Dry! About 2cm (1 inch) of rainfall a year. Plenty of volcanoes.
Extremely arid desert. Home only to plant life – the welwitschia, which can survive for up to 1000 years.
Home to the famous Death Valley. The hottest place on earth (heat record: 57° C).
Accounts for more than half (about 58%) of the State of Israel.
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Top 5 Largest Deserts in the World
Do you know what is the largest desert in the World? In this video featured the top 5 largest deserts in the World.
A desert is an area that receives little precipitation. Deserts can be hot or cold. Most deserts are quite barren as the dry conditions are too hostile to most plant and animal life. Desert flora and fauna have special adaptations that help them survive the harsh environment. Humans also dwell in desert areas.
Below are the largest deserts in the World :
5. Gobi Desert
▶️Area : 1,295,000 Square Km
▶️The Gobi Desert covers parts of northwestern and northern China, as well as southern Mongolia.The Gobi Desert is sometimes called the “rain shadow desert,” as the proximity of the desert to the Himalayan Mountains blocks rainfall.The mountains prevent the raincausing monsoon winds from reaching the Gobi. Most of the Gobi’s surface is not sandy but rather exposed, bare rock. It is a cold desert and occasionally snow accumulates on its dunes.
4. Arabian Desert
▶️Area : 2,330,000 Square Km
▶️The Arabian Desert is found in western Asia where it covers most of the Arabian Peninsula. It engulfs much of Yemen, the Persian Gulf, Oman, Jordan, and Iraq. Its center, Rub ’alKhali or the “Empty Quarter,” forms the largest continuous body of sand in the world. The climate of this area is very dry. Temperatures oscillate between regular, characteristically high heat on one end of the spectrum to seasonal nighttime freezes on the other. The annual rainfall is around 100mm on average, but the driest areas receive as little as 30 to 40 mm of rain a year.
3. Sahara Desert
▶️Area : 9,000,000 Square Km
▶️The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest “hot desert.”This desert occupies most of the land in North Africa except for the fertile regions of the Maghreb, the Atlas Mountains, and the coastal region adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the desert is a barren rocky landscape. The central part of the Sahara is “hyperarid,” which means that there is no vegetation growing in this area. Most of the rivers in the Sahara Desert are intermittent or seasonal.
2. Arctic Desert
▶️Area : 13,985,000 Square Km
▶️The desert partially occupies parts of territories claimed or controlled by Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. As a cold desert, winter temperatures dip to 40 degrees Celsius or below. The desert is characterized by high winds that stir up snow, which creates an illusion of persistent and continuous snowfall. The Arctic is very vulnerable to climate change. In recent years, alarms have been raised over the reduction in the amount of sea ice in the area. The shrinking of the Arctic Desert is especially concerning as it could have a serious impact on global water levels.
1. Antarctica Desert
▶️Area : 14,000,000 Square Km
▶️Antarctica is located around the South Pole, it is the driest, windiest, and coldest continent on earth. It also has the highest average elevation on earth compared to any other continent. The entirety of Antarctica is a desert the continent receives less than 200mm of precipitation every year. Temperatures in Antarctica are generally very cold and may drop as low as 89 degree Celsius in winter. Partially due to these extremes temperatures and a lack of water, there are no permanent residents in Antarctica. Temporary residents number from 1,000 to 5,000 depending on the time of year. These groups consist mainly of scientific researchers and their supporting personnel.
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