The sandy desert gives the viewer the typical image of a desert, which consists of sand and sand dunes and in which of course the sun shines mercilessly from a cloudless sky. Only about 20% of all deserts on earth consist of the fine quartz sand that has shaped our image of a desert in so many films and documentaries. Here are the ten largest sandy deserts in the world, sorted in ascending order from number ten to number one:
In Turkmenistan, in Central Asia, there is the Karakum, a desert with different geographical conditions and corresponding forms of desert types from the clay desert to the desert of black sand, which roughly translates to Karakum. Of the approximately 400,000 square kilometers of desert area, a good quarter are sandy deserts.
Although the total area of the Chihuahua Desert, which is mainly in Mexico , covers almost half a million square kilometers and extends as far as Arizona in the USA, the actual sandy desert portion is only about 100,000 square kilometers. A specialty here is the White Sands gypsum desert in New Mexico, which actually consists only of gypsum crystals and takes up about 700 square kilometers.
If you want to visit the seventh largest sandy desert on earth, you have to travel to Nevada in the USA. In addition to other forms of desert and dry salt lakes, the Great Basin is also home to a sandy desert with an area of around 120,000 square kilometers.
About two thirds of the state of Syria is covered by the desert of the same name. This sandy desert also takes up parts of Jordan and Iraq. About 140,000 square kilometers of sandy desert on the Arabian Peninsula.
The Alxa or Alashan is a sandy desert in Inner Mongolia and is considered part of the Gobi Desert. With around 260,000 square kilometers, it covers by far the largest part of this autonomous region in China.
In the southwest of the Australian continent is the great Victoria Desert, the total area of which is almost 300,000 square kilometers. Most of them are sand and shifting dunes.
Like many other deserts, the Kalahari in Africa consists of various desert and savanna areas, some of which are also sandy deserts. The desert, which is largely located in Botswana and Namibia, covers a total area of around one million square kilometers, with the pure sandy desert being around 320,000 square kilometers.
Anyone who suspected that the Sahara is the largest sandy desert in the world is not entirely wrong in principle. A total of around 2.2 million square kilometers of sandy desert cover this area, but not contiguous, but interrupted by scree and gravel deserts. That is why the Sahara cannot claim the first place among the sandy deserts.
The Chinese call the Taklamakan, the second largest sand desert in the world, desert of no return for a reason. The desert in northeast China covers around 340,000 square kilometers of sandy desert with dunes that can rise to over 300 meters.
The largest contiguous sandy desert in the world and therefore the front runner is the Rub al-Kali. It covers an area of 780,000 square kilometers, with most of the desert in Saudi Arabia, but also the neighboring countries Yemen, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are covered to a smaller extent by the Rub al-Kali.
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