If you take a peek at the northern part of Africa on the map, you’ll spot the famous Sahara. A closer look at the neighboring regions, from the Atlantic through the distant Mediterranean and the Red Sea, will reveal the fact that nearly all the northernmost reaches of the continent have been eaten up by the ever-extending.
Although almost all of us learned at least something about this profoundly arid portion of the earth, a couple of the most intriguing truths about it remain shrouded in mystery. As such, this article highlights a few intriguing revelations about this world-famous desert. Continue reading to discover top 5 little-known facts about Sahara.
1. Sahara Isn’t the Largest Desert in the World
Unlike the wide misconception advanced by many purportedly knowledgeable individuals, Sahara isn’t the biggest desert on earth. It’s Antarctica – just carry out an online search right away! Nonetheless, the severely arid portion remains unparalleled with regarding to its rapidly expanding coverage. For instance, the aridity has extended by a whopping 250,000 square miles from the time John Glenn first orbited the earth.
2. Is Not Always Scorching Hot
The mere mention of this internationally famed desert conjurers up scary images of an uninhabitable zone that’s exceedingly hot all the time. Nevertheless, verifiable meteorological pictures of Sahara clearly point out that the desert lacks atmospheric humidity from about December throughout much of February. During this estimated 3-month duration, nightly temperature readings plummet to freezing lows.
3. It’s Scarcely Populated
Our common understanding of the African tribes that are found around the Saharan region might easily make us think that many millions call it home. However, credible government-supervised census reports show that the area’s dwellers don’t go beyond 3 million. If you look at most accurate demographic Sahara pictures, you’ll not this subtle population-related hint. Compared to the United States which has more than 300 million citizens, this meager numbers pales to extreme minuteness.
4. Not All Parts of Desert Are Agriculturally Unproductive
While everyone is likely to assume that Sahara is wholly crop-hostile, the sheer truth is that some fairly significant areas of this arid region are actually fertile. In fact, both practical surveys and archaeological inquests show that the otherwise misunderstood location has been a notable farming ground for well over 8,000 years now!
5. Sahara Isn’t As Sandy As Many Think
While sand dunes are a rather ubiquitous sight in many Sahara pictures, the inner soil strata aren’t even half as sandy as we often tend to assume. Apart from the particularly sand spots around Libya, geologists have discovered that only the top soil layers are really sandy. Under the upper stratum, almost the entire underpart consists of gravel. Statistically speaking, Sahara’s ground comprises 30% sand and 70% gravel.