The Sahara is a desert unique in the world, both for its size and for the ecosystem that has been created in it. Here we tell you 15 curiosities about him ordered from less to more surprising. How far can the air of the Sahara go?
1. Beyond the ocean
A layer of air from the Sahara, also known by the acronym SAL (Saharan Air Layer) is a large amount of dry air loaded with particles of microscopic sand. Surprisingly, these air masses travel more than 7,500 km and have affected areas of the Caribbean Sea or Central America.
2. A different origin
Believe it or not, the Sahara was once a great jungle. There are different hypotheses that explain its transformation. Some argue that millions of years ago, due to the desiccation of the Tethys Sea, it became a desert. Other theories maintain that this happened about 5,000 years ago.
3. The unknown pyramids
While the pyramids of Egypt are known worldwide, those of Sudan are not so well known. These belong to the Kushites, a people who lived in the area between 260 BC. and 300 AD There are a total of 250 pyramids, which resemble Egyptian ones, but are smaller and slanted.
4. A special plant
The rose of Jericho is a very special plant thanks to its resistance. When it dries, its branches contract and curl up. That way it can stay for years. However, when it finds moisture or water, it hydrates again and returns to its original form. It is common to find it in a large part of the desert.
5. The salt lake of Tunisia
Chott el Djerid is the largest salt surface in the Sahara, with 7,000 square kilometers. This lake only has water during the rainy season. The rest of the year, due to the hot weather, remains dry.
6. The desert fox
The smallest fox species in the world is found in the Sahara. The fox or desert fox stands out for its large ears, which help it to stay cool during the high temperatures of the day. It is a nocturnal animal that lives in underground shelters.
7. The cave paintings of the desert
In the past, the inhabitants of the Sahara desert tended to leave engravings in places such as caves or shelters. A good part has been preserved until today. Among the numerous points, the plateau of Gilf Kebir, in Egypt and Libya stand out. Both animals and people and abstract drawings were represented.
8. A movie desert
The impressive landscapes of the Sahara have achieved that they are known movies rolled. One of them is Star Wars, which was recorded in locations such as Tataouine, in Tunisia. Another famous recording that chose this desert for some of its most famous scenes is In Search of the Lost Ark, which tells one of the adventures of Indiana Jones.
9. A fight flag
The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, also known as Western Sahara, is an area that is only recognized as a State by some countries. Before it was the Spanish Sahara, but later it became the possession of Morocco and Mauritania.
10. The legend of Merzouga
Erg Chebbi is an area of large dunes in Morocco. A popular legend is often told here. This explains that, years ago, the inhabitants of Merzouga were giving a party when a woman and her children asked for help. When they ignored them, they died. As a result, a huge sandstorm covered the town forever. Therefore, it is said that at midday you can hear cries among the dunes.
11. The white desert of Egypt
Although it looks like snow or ice, this part of the Sahara known as the white desert of Farafra owes its color to limestones. The wind has eroded and modeled them, which has given rise to strange shapes.
12. Paradise oasis
Not everything is sand in the Sahara desert. Fortunately, we can also find beautiful oases that have been formed thanks to the underground aquifers of the area. Some of the most outstanding are the Awbari oasis, the Bajariya oasis, and the Gardaya oasis.
13. The horned desert viper
The fauna of the Sahara is quite surprising. One of the most outstanding animals is the horned desert viper. This snake is characterized by having small horns on its head. Due to its color, it hides easily in the sand to protect itself from predators or to watch the possible victims. Through its fangs it is capable of injecting a dangerous poison.
14. A snowy landscape
Although it is a strange and unusual phenomenon, it sometimes snows on this desert. This has happened in the dunes of Ain Sefra, city of Algeria. The last two times have been in 1979 and 2016. This phenomenon occurs thanks to the low temperatures that are reached at night (around 0 degrees). The result is an incredible desert landscape with snow that we can observe.
15. The largest in the world
The Sahara is not any desert, since it has an area of 9,065,253 square kilometers, which makes it the largest in the world. However, there are people who think that it is much smaller since they confuse it with one of its most famous parts: Western Sahara. In the following political map, you can see the countries that have a part of the surface of this desert.