Sands of Secrets: 20 Fascinating Facts About Deserts

1Dead Sea Scrolls

Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in caves in the Judaean Desert from 1945-1956 in 11 caves contain 981 different manuscripts having great historical and religious significance as they include the 2nd oldest manuscripts included in the Hebrew Bible along with extra-biblical manuscripts.

2Giant Eye

Giant Eye

A 30-mile giant eye in the Sahara Desert once served as a geographical landmark for astronauts.

3Desert Drowning

Desert Drowning

More people die in the desert due to drowning than due to the heat. This is because people do not prepare for flash floods, which can be very extreme in the desert.

4Secret Swimming Pool

Secret Swimming Pool

In 2014, a swimming pool was built in the middle of the Mojave Desert, as an art installation, the location to which was not released to public. Users had to get the keys to the pool from MAK center in West Hollywood, who would provide the GPS coordinates to the pool.

5Gurbantünggüt Desert

Gurbantünggüt Desert

The furthest point anyone can be from any sea on Earth is the Gurbantünggüt Desert in China which is over 1600 miles from the nearest coastline.

6Karakum Desert

Karakum Desert

The Gates of Hell is a fiery crater that has been burning in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan since 1971.

7Nabta Playa

Nabta Playa

The world’s first astronomical site, Nabta Playa, was built in Africa. It is 2,000 years older than Stonehenge. Located in the Sahara desert, the 7,000-year-old stone circle was used to track the summer solstice and the arrival of the annual monsoon season.

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8Singing Sands

Singing Sands

An unusual phenomenon associated with desert sands is their ‘singing’ or booming. Various hypotheses have been given to explain the phenomenon, such as those based upon the piezoelectric property of crystalline quartz, but the mystery remains unsolved."

9Dasht-e Kavir Desert

Dasht-e Kavir Desert

Iran's Dasht-e Kavir desert is almost uninhabited and knows little exploitation. For irrigation, Iranians developed a sophisticated system of water-wells known as qanats. These are still in use, and modern globally used water-revenue systems are based on their techniques.

10Sahara Desert

Sahara Desert

100 million years ago, the Sahara Desert was inhabited by galloping crocodiles. These crocodile relatives were nicknamed BoarCroc, DuckCroc, RatCroc, DogCroc, and PancakeCroc.

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