Are you interested to learn more about the biggest deserts of the world? Well, then you have come to the right place! In this article I will tell you all about the top 25 biggest deserts of the world along with some interesting facts. Ready to learn more? Read on…
- The Biggest Deserts of the World
- The Biggest North America Deserts
- The Biggest South American Deserts
- The Biggest African Deserts
- The Biggest Asian Deserts
- The Biggest Australasian Deserts
- The Biggest Antarctica Deserts
- Other Big Deserts
- The Biggest Deserts of the World: To Conclude
The Biggest Deserts of the World
Every year, hordes of tourists from around the globe set out to explore the biggest deserts of the world. But have you ever wondered what these deserts have to offer?
You can find some of the most incredible desert landscapes from North America to Africa and I am going to tell you a bit more about this now. To make things easier (because I am a big fan of being organised!) I have sorted this article on the biggest deserts of the worlds by continent.
Ready to learn more? Lets get started!
The Biggest North America Deserts
First up in this article about the biggest deserts of the world are those located in North America.
The Mojave Desert is one of the biggest deserts of the world, and it sure packs a punch. This desert spans four states in the USA: California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. The area of this desert is a whopping 20 million acres, where you can find plenty of human activities for fun.
To enjoy this vast landscape, you can take a hike and explore the unique rock formations. Or ride a hot air balloon and get a bird’s-eye view of the desert. On top of that, observe the breathtaking night sky filled with stars when the sun goes down.
Moreover, the Mojave Desert has a rich history, as it was once home to the Native American tribes who lived in the area. It is an excellent destination for nature lovers, as it offers stunning views of the desert.
The Sonoran Desert is a desert that gets the title of being the hottest land in the North American region. The reason for including it in the list of the biggest deserts of the world is its vastness. This desert stretches across two countries – the United States and Mexico, with an area of 310,800 square km.
The Sonoran Desert is like a giant heat-filled playground for those who want to explore the vast landscapes of the desert. It also houses many iconic creatures, like the saguaro cactus and the kangaroo rat.
3- Chihuahuan Desert
The Chihuahuan Desert is the largest in North America, and only a few people have heard of it. This vast desert has roots in Mexico, stretching from the United States to Central America.
It is home to a variety of wildlife, including the iconic roadrunner, which is featured in the classic cartoon series. Some other notable species of this desert are the Mexican Grey Wolf and an endangered type of wild horse called the Chihuahuan Desert Horse.
Furthermore, this desert also has many interesting geological features, including the Rio Grande rift, the Sierra Madre Oriental range, and the Great Plains. Besides, it is the only desert in North America with a subtropical climate.
The Great Basin Desert is number four on the list of the biggest deserts of the world. It has an area of 492,000 square km. This desert is famous for having the world’s largest natural hot springs.
You may think the Great Basin Desert is another barren land with heat, sand, and a lack of water. Right? But in reality, it’s a treasure inventory of geological wonders, with its giant dunes, boiling mud pots, and snow-capped mountains.
Apart from that, this desert also contains a good diversity of animals. This includes big horn sheep, pronghorn antelope, and desert tortoises. Despite its arid climate, the Great Basin Desert is a fascinating place to explore.
The Biggest South American Deserts
Next up is South America. Which of the biggest deserts of the world are located here?
1- Patagonian Desert
The Patagonian Desert is the 8th biggest deserts of the world, occupying 673,000 square kilometres. It is located in South America, stretching across Argentina and Chile. This desert has a rich history of being home to many indigenous people.
In the Patagonian Desert, you can find plenty of beautiful rock formations and diverse wildlife like guanacos, rheas, and pumas. Its arid climate also makes the desert great for stargazing and exploring the night sky.
However, if you plan to see this desert, ensure you’re prepared for the cold temperatures. During the winter, temperatures can dip below zero Celsius while rarely exceeding 12 degrees celsius. This makes it a challenging yet exciting place to visit.
The Atacama Desert is located in South America, stretching from northern Peru to central Chile. It is the driest non-polar desert in the world and is known for its great terrain.
Although its history is not clear, the Atacama Desert is thought to have been formed millions of years ago when tectonic plates collided. You can experience pretty optimum climate conditions here. The temperature usually ranges from 14°C to 20°C and more than 75 percent humidity.
The Atacama Desert also has unusual wildlife, including the Andean fox, pink flamingos, and the Andean Condor. Interestingly, this desert has been used as a filming location for several Hollywood movies, like Inés of My Soul.
Having a rich diversity of flora, The Monte Desert is found in Patagonia, Argentina. It is a vast area of sand and stone. This desert even contains a few fossilised plants preserved for thousands of years.
Many rare and endangered animals can be found, including the Arabian Oryx, the Addax, and the Sand Cat in Monte Dessert. One notable plant species of this desert is the “Monte Desert Cactus,” which is at risk of going extinct.
The Monte desert also offers many activities, from camel riding to sand skiing and even hot air balloon rides. You can camp in the desert, explore its unique terrain, or simply relax and enjoy its views. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at dune boarding.
In short, this desert is a popular destination for tourists exploring the beautiful and barren landscape. With mesmerizing sunsets, star-filled night skies, and a silent, mysterious wilderness, the Monte Desert is like no other.
The Sechura Desert is located in Peru. Since the desert has plenty of rivers, you can expect the best beaches in this area. You’ll find miles of sandy dunes, breathtaking sunsets, and plenty of adventure here. Join a tour to explore the area and meet other travelers.
Plus, you can also take a guided horseback ride through the dunes. And don’t forget to take a break from the sun to explore the local culture by visiting nearby villages.
In short, whether you’re an experienced hiker or a novice adventurer, Sechura Desert has something to offer everyone.
The Biggest African Deserts
Many of the most famous biggest deserts of the world are found in Africa. Lets take a deeper look…
1- Sahara Desert
The Sahara Desert is the biggest hot desert in the world, with an incredible area of 9.2 million square kilometers. It is located in the northernmost part of Africa and stretches across ten countries. No matter which country you choose to explore the Sahara in, you’ll surely have an amazing experience.
The vastness of the desert is sure to astound you, and the sunsets will take your breath away. If that isn’t enough to convince you, the Sahara Desert contains some of the world’s most spectacular and unique land formations.
From the dunes of Erg Chebbi in Morocco to the rugged peaks of Tibesti in Chad, you’ll be in awe of the natural beauty of this desert. And don’t forget to check out the mysterious rock engravings in the Tassili n’Ajjer National Park in Algeria.
This desert is known for its extreme heat and arid environment. It also has a rich cultural history, with many ancient monuments and ruins scattered throughout the desert. So, what are you waiting for? An unbelievable adventure is waiting for you.
The Kalahari Desert is located in southern Africa and is the second-largest desert in Africa. It contains the San people, who have lived in the area for thousands of years and are known for their traditional lifestyle.
The desert is famous for its red dunes, unique vegetation, and various animals. Here you can find wild animals such as the endangered African wild dog, cheetah, and zebra.
Located in southern African countries like Namibia, Angola, and South Africa, the Namib Desert is the oldest in the world. It covers an area of about 160,000 square kilometres and is believed to be around 55-88 million years old.
The exciting thing about the Namib Desert is that it receives very little rainfall; the only water source is the coastal fog. The desert also has a good range of animal species like giraffes, antelopes, black rhinos, and cheetahs.
The Libyan Desert is one of the world’s hottest, driest, and least explored deserts. It is located in North Africa and is known as the Great Sand Sea. The desert has a rich history, as it was home to the ancient Berber and Greek civilisations. It is said that the desert was once a green oasis and is now a vast expanse of sand and rock.
Some interesting facts about the desert are that it has been used as a backdrop in movies like Star Wars and Lawrence of Arabia. It holds wildlife, ranging from camels to flamingoes.
The Ogaden Desert is located in Ethiopia and is a semi-arid desert full of lush wildlife. Famous desert nomads used to live here. Visitors to the Ogaden Desert can expect stunning views of the horizon, an abundance of wildlife, and endless opportunities for exploration.
The Ogaden Desert is filled with various plant and animal species, including hyenas, gazelles, and camels. You’ll even come across some friendly locals along the way. As the locals are peaceful, you can expect to be welcomed into their homes and treated to a delicious traditional meal.
Lastly, Ogaden Desert also owns the ancient ruins of several different civilizations, giving it a striking historical significance.
The Biggest Asian Deserts
Asia is home to some of the biggest deserts of the world. Lets learn a little bit more about them…
1- Gobi Desert
Situated in northern China and southern Mongolia, the Gobi Desert is the sixth-largest desert in the world and is one of the most incredible deserts in China. It is known for its remarkable landscapes and extreme weather conditions.
In this desert, many rare species of animals, like wild Bactrian camels, snow leopards, and Gobi bears, are present. In addition, the desert also retains many large dunes. The temperature of the desert is quite dramatic and extreme, ranging from −47 to 40 °C.
Gobi Desert is also known for its fascinating sunsets, which attract many visitors from around the world.
This desert is among the biggest deserts of the world, but it israrely discussed. Syrian desert is located in the Middle East and has been around since ancient times. It’s known for its extremely hot temperatures and dunes.
You can find a variety of interesting wildlife, including camels, foxes, scorpions, golden jackals, and hares. The Syrian Desert is known for its extreme temperatures and harsh climate, so make sure you’re prepared before you visit. Pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
This desert is at the fifth position in the list of biggest deserts of the world, spanning 2.3 million square kilometers. It is a vast, sandy area that covers much of the Middle East, including parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Iraq.
This desert carried a rich history dating back to ancient times and was home to the legendary city of Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It harbours incredible wildlife, including wild cats, hyenas, and the critically endangered Arabian Oryx.
A visit to the Arabian Desert is a must for any adventurous traveler exploring the Middle East.
The Thar Desert is considered among the biggest deserts of the world and is located in India and Pakistan. It is known for its vast expanse of sand dunes and its rich cultural and historical background.
This desert gets one of the largest animal species in the world, such as the Great Indian Bustard, Bengal Fox, and Blackbuck. The Thar Desert is also great for tourists to explore the old cultural heritage and vibrant wildlife.
Taklamakan Desert, also known as the “Sea of Death,” can be found in Southwestern Xinjiang in Northwest China. With an area of 320,000 square kilometres, this desert is a real challenge for adventurers.
Its history dates back to old times when merchants and nomads used it as a trade route. It is said that even Marco Polo once passed through the desert. From the rolling sand dunes to the sparse vegetation, you’ll be in awe of the beauty of this mysterious desert.
Not to mention, you’ll get to experience some of the most extreme temperatures (from -20 to 40 °C) known to mankind. Therefore, prepare yourself accordingly.
Come explore the Kyzylkum Desert in Central Asia, which stands 15th on the list of the biggest deserts of the world. It is located in Central Asia, mostly in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The desert has a rich history, inhabited by local tribes for centuries.
Kyzylkum Desert also contains a variety of landscapes, such as dunes, mountains, and salt flats. But that’s not all; you can also indulge in fun activities like camel rides, sand boarding, and desert safaris.
The Kara-Kum Desert, the 12th among the biggest deserts of the world, is located in Central Asia. This desert owns distinctive animal species, including the endangered Gobi Bear and the Ustyurt Pika. It also houses one of the oldest archaeological sites in the world, some dating back to the Bronze Age.
This desert has a captivating history. It was formed over a million years ago when the Amu Darya river changed its course and left behind a desert. Kara-Kum desert has a notable species of spider called the “desert spider,” which can survive without food or water for up to a year.
The Biggest Australasian Deserts
Often overlooked, Australasia is also home to some significant deserts. Lets take a look at the biggest deserts of the world that are located here.
1- Great Victoria Desert
You can explore the desert by car or camel. Soaking up the sun on the vast sandy expanse is a heavenly experience you will never forget. Don’t forget to check out the stunning sunsets too.
It is a semi-arid desert, and its climate is mostly dry and hot. Moreover, the desert has many interesting features, like its sand dunes and numerous salt lakes. Indigenous Australians originally inhabited it, and it was named after Queen Victoria.
This 4th largest desert in the world has been a mystery for centuries. It is believed to have been around for more than five million years and is located in southern Australia.
The vast desert covers an area of more than 2.7 million square kilometres. It contains a spectacular range of wildlife, including kangaroos, emus, dingos, and other animals.
A few plants in the desert include wildflowers and succulents, as well as grasses and shrubs. An interesting fact about the Great Australian Desert is that it is one of the driest places on earth and receives less than 8 inches of rainfall yearly.
This desert is located in the continent of Australia and covers an area of around 300,000 square kilometres. Here, you can find a few animals like kangaroos, dingos, emus, and bilbies.
The desert is known for its ever-changing dunes, which often surprise visitors. It is also believed that the desert’s dunes were formed by the wind thousands of years ago.
Some of the famous dwelling life of this desert are goanna, dingo, and the thorny devil.
The Biggest Antarctica Deserts
Just because it is cold in Antarctica, doesn’t mean there aren’t deserts! In fact, Antarctica is home to not just one of the biggest deserts in the world, but THE biggest desert in the world!
The Antarctic desert is the biggest in the world. It is also the coldest and windiest desert on planet Earth. This desert covers an area of around 5.5 million square miles and is mostly composed of ice and snow.
It is believed to have been formed around 40 million years ago and resulted from a shift in the global climate. Lastly, the Antarctic desert has various wildlife, including seals, penguins, and whales.
Other Big Deserts
The last on this list of biggest deserts in the world spans several continents, and it is one of the most fascinating of them all!
The Arctic desert is one of the biggest deserts of the world and is located in the northernmost parts of the world. This desert spans three continents: North America, Asia, and Europe.
It is known for its icy weather and extremely cold temperature. Interestingly, the Arctic desert has been around since the beginning of the earth, and its history dates back to the Ice Age.
Being a cold desert, it carries animal species like polar bears and arctic foxes.
The Biggest Deserts of the World: To Conclude
As you can see, the world’s biggest deserts of the world are visually stunning and incredibly diverse. From the searing heat of the Sahara to the icy silence of the Antarctic, these vast wildernesses have a lot to offer.
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