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Sahara Desert Facts

The history of the Sahara Desert dates back to 3 million years ago. Known as the largest and the hottest desert in the world, Sahara is located in the North Africa that covers countries like Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Chad, Niger, Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania and Morocco. Spread over an area of more than 9,000,000 sq kms, it is said to be equivalent to the continent of America.

In fact, Sahara desert is believed to have been subjected to various atmospheric changes in the past, which led to the changes in the regions climatic conditions and made it what it is today. Thousands of years ago the climate of Sahara Desert was wetter. The desert divides the continent of Africa into two parts - North and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Facts about Sahara Desert

Sahara desert is the second largest desert in the world, after Antarctica, and the largest hot desert in the world. Arabic is the most widely spoken language in the Sahara region, from the Atlantic to the Red Sea.

The desert is home to around 500 species of flora and quite a few animal species. This place has mainly nomadic tribes which move from place to place in search of better living conditions.

Covering almost all the parts of Northern Africa the desert stretches from the Red Sea and includes parts of the Mediterranean coasts to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean. The southward region is limited by the Sahel, a belt of semi-arid tropical savanna separating it from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sahara is divided into Western Sahara, Central Ahaggar Mountains, Tibesti Mountains, Air Mountains, Tenere Desert and Libyan Desert which is known as the most arid region here.

Rocky regions with varied elevation, the desert comprises of underground rivers that sometime penetrate the surface, creating beautiful oasis. The desert sand dunes reach a height of about 180 meters.

The central region of Sahara desert is elevated, with peaks such as Emi Koussi and Tahat. The peaks in the desert are snowcapped during the winter.

The climate of Sahara desert is the harshest and during the day, it is very hot, while night brings along chill. The prevailing north-easterly wind often causes the sand to form sand storms here on a large scale. Rainfall here is only 8 inches per annum and hence the population is just 2 million.

It’s the fact that during the last ice age, the Sahara Desert was bigger than what it is now, extending south beyond its current boundaries.