A desert that meets the sea: Of aliens and other key facts about Africa’s Namib Desert


The coastal desert of Namibia is located along Africa’s Atlantic coast towards the south-west. The high sand dunes of Namib Desert and the point where the desert meets the sea are the key attractions of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, there is more to it than what is known. Below, check out the key facts about this amazing destination.
Do you know that the Namib Desert is one of the driest destinations on the planet? Its Mars-like landscape features nothing except high sand dunes, barren mountains and gravel plains extending to about 81000 sq km across three nations.
Namib Desert is believed to be as old as 55 million years; thus, it is the oldest desert in the world.
Summer temperature at this desert often reaches 45 degree Celsius and night-time temperature can be as low as below freezing.
Apparently, Namib Desert is not suitable for human inhabitation. Nonetheless, a number of living beings such as ostriches, antelopes, rodents and birds have managed to adapt to this desert.
Interestingly, the geomorphic phenomenon created in Namib Desert, called fairy circles, has intrigued many researchers and scientists across the globe. Also called fairy rings, these are barren patches of sand encircled by grass of a single variety. Many researchers believe that the fairy circles could be the result of alien activity in this region, though there is no evidence that proves it.
Namib gets its water supply from fog, which means the reptiles and mammals living in the desert area have developed a survival mechanism to live with less water consumption.
The sand dunes of Sossusvlei area in the Namib region are also called star dunes. Due to the wind approaching from all directions, the sand dunes are formed in star-like shape, and consequently, they are quite immovable.
The sand in the desert gets its reddish colour from the layer of iron oxide covering it.
The colour of sand is different across the desert. Towards the inland, the sand looks pinkish in colour, while it is whiter near the sea.
During an unusually heavy monsoon season, Tsauchab River flows to the pan and tourists from all over the world visit this place to witness the sight.
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