The Sentinel
Sept 10, 2023
Chihuahuan Desert
The Chihuahuan Desert stands as the largest desert ecosystem across North America, spanning an expansive 200,000 square miles. This desert's climatic conditions can be treacherous, with scorching heatwaves during the summer and bone-chilling cold during the winter months. It covers regions within the states of New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, with a significant portion extending into Mexico.
Great Basin Desert
The Great Basin harbors a range of hazards, including the presence of wildlife such as rattlesnakes and mountain lions. Altitude sickness is a potential concern here, given the substantial elevation variation, spanning from 6,825 to 13,065 feet above sea level, which can manifest in symptoms like nausea, dizziness, and breathing difficulties. Moreover, the Great Basin's arid atmosphere accelerates dehydration, and the intense sun exposure at this high altitude can lead to increased skin damage. Furthermore, the patchy cell reception in this area underscores the potential for dire situations if one is ill-prepared.
Gobi Desert
Spanning an impressive 500,000 square miles, the Gobi Desert ranks as the sixth largest desert globally. This formidable desert is situated in South Asia, in proximity to Mongolia and northern China. While only 5% of the terrain comprises sand, the landscape is dominated by rugged mountains, sheer cliffs, and intricate canyons. Frequent sandstorms sweep through the region, accompanied by extreme weather phenomena such as prolonged droughts and severe winters.
Mojave Desert
For a considerable duration, the Mojave Desert held the distinction of being regarded as the hottest place on Earth, notably in locales such as Death Valley, where temperatures soared to an astonishing 134 °F (56.6°C). The Mojave's wildlife is equally formidable, featuring inhabitants like mountain lions, tarantula hawks, spiders, and assassin bugs. This arid expanse is also the habitat of the Gila Monster, one of the planet's rare venomous lizards.
Arabian Desert
The Arabian Desert stands out not only as one of the world's largest deserts but also as one of the most scorching. Encompassing approximately 900,000 square miles, it predominantly resides in Saudi Arabia. The desert's heat surpasses that of most other locations on Earth, with recorded temperatures soaring as high as 133 °F (56.1°C).
Deserts of Australia
Australia ranks among the world's most arid continents, boasting a harsh climate that has given rise to numerous deadly desert-adapted creatures. Approximately 1,000,000 square miles of Australia's vast landmass are enveloped by desert, receiving minimal rainfall.
Taklamakan Desert
China's largest desert, the Taklamakan Desert, also ranks among the most perilous on Earth, primarily due to its extreme temperatures. Covering an expansive 123,550 square miles, the Taklamakan Desert boasts record-breaking temperatures that can soar up to 152°F (66.6°C). Much of this vast desert is characterized by desolate landscapes dominated by rocky terrain and shifting sands.