A desert is a barren area of land, which is mostly non-usable by human beings. In the desert, it is difficult for animals as well as human beings to live due to high/low temperatures. It is near impossible to do farming in the desert to live a good life. On this planet, there is a huge land which is covered by desert. In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 10 largest deserts on the Earth.
10 Largest Deserts On The Earth
1. Antarctica – 14 million km²
Antarctica is a lonely continent, the fifth-largest continent in area after Asia, Africa, North America and South America. FYI, Antarctica is nearly double the size of Australia. The whole continent has a zero population and no one resides there permanently.
Only a few hundred scientists and researchers reside on the continent for the research projects only. Antarctica is the largest desert on the Earth with an area of 14,000,000 sq. km. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations.
2. Sahara Desert – 9.2 million km²
The Sahara is the second largest desert on the Earth. It is the largest subtropical hot desert on the Earth. The whole desert covers an area of 9,400,000 sq. km.
The desert spread to many countries i.e. Algeria, Western Sahara, Chad, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Niger, Libya, Morocco, Mali, and Mauritania. FYI, some of the dunes sometimes reach as high as 180 metres in height.
3. Arabian Desert – 2.33 million km²
The Arabian Desert is the third-largest desert on the Earth. It is located in Western Asia and covers many countries such as Yemen, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman.
The whole desert covers an area of 2,330,000 sq. km. The desert had been damaged severely due to the military actions of the United States and NATO.
4. Gobi Desert – 1.295 million km²
The Gobi Desert is the fourth largest desert on the Earth. It is the second-largest cold winter desert in the world. The whole desert covers an area of 1,000,000 sq. km. The desert spread over two countries, namely, Mongolia, and China.
The Gobi is a rain shadow desert formed by the Himalayas range blocking rain-carrying clouds from the Indian Ocean from reaching the Gobi territory.
5. Kalahari Desert – 930,000 km²
The Kalahari Desert is the fifth largest subtropical desert on the Earth. The whole desert covers an area of 900,000 sq. km., which is spread over four countries, namely, South Africa, Angola, Namibia, and Botswana.
The Kalahari Desert came into existence approximately sixty million years ago along with the formation of the African continent.
6. Patagonian Desert – 670,000 km²
The Patagonian Desert is the sixth-largest desert on the Earth. It covers an area of 620,000 sq. km. and is considered the third largest cold winter desert in the world. The desert spread over two countries, namely, Chile and Argentina.
Despite the heavy deserted area, several animals are living in the whole desert. You would also find fauna and flora in the desert.
7. Syrian Desert – 520,000 km²
The Syrian Desert, which is also known as the Syro-Arabian Desert, is the 7th largest desert on the Earth. The desert covers an area of 520,000 sq. km. The desert spread over four countries, namely, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. FYI, the desert is very rocky and flat.
8. Great Basin Desert – 492,000 square km
The Great Basin Desert is the ninth-largest desert on the Earth. It covers an area of 492,000 sq. km. in the United States. It is the largest desert in the United States by area.
Wheeler Peak is the highest point in Nevada’s Great Basin Desert. The Great Basin Desert is a cold desert caused by the rain shadow effect from the Sierra Nevada to the west.
9. Great Victoria Desert – 348,750 km²
The Great Victoria Desert is the ninth-largest desert on the Earth. The desert covers an area of 348,750 sq. km. and is spread in the two Australian states, namely, South Australia and Western Australia. Wildlife adapted to these harsh conditions includes a few large birds or mammals.
10. Chihuahuan Desert – 362,600 km²
The Chihuahuan Desert is the tenth-largest desert on the Earth. It covers an area of 362,600 km². The desert spread over two countries, namely, the United States and Mexico.
There are several large mountains located in the desert such as the Sacramento Mountains, the Sierra Madre, the Davis Mountains, the Franklin Mountains, and others.
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