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Sands of Time or Walk Through the Sahara Desert

Sahara – the largest desert in the world, located in North Africa. Take a walk on the sands of time.
Photos of Ilya Stepanov

The Sahara Desert stretches for about 4,800 km from west to east and from 800 to 1200 km from north to south and has an area of about 8.6 million square feet. km. This is about 30% of the area of Africa, little more than the area of Brazil.

At dusk, the desert is also beautiful, but her whole essence is manifested course in the afternoon, when the abundance of waves, big and small beginning dazzled!

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These shadows only at dawn and dusk, the day they are shorter – the sun at its zenith:

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Invisible sculptor – the wind is restoration work tirelessly to improve the surface of the sand. Everything must be perfectly correct form.

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Name of the Sahara in Arabic means “desert”.

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From the West Sahara, the Atlantic Ocean on the north by the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, and from the east – the Red Sea.

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Sahara partially includes the territory of more than a dozen states. Vast expanses of the Sahara is not settled, sedentary lifestyle, limited areas of oases.

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Several rivers, nucleating outside the Sahara, replenish surface and ground water of the desert.

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The Nile River is the only river with a permanent watercourse transitive. Its main tributaries – the Blue and White Nile – merge in the southeast and the Sahara desert on the eastern edge of the river carries the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

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Sand dunes of the Sahara store significant stocks of rainwater that seeps and springs out on the desert slopes. Also, under the sands of the Sahara are the major groundwater basins, including artesian.

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From a climatic point of view, the Sahara became a desert of about 5 million years ago.

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Monthly average winter temperature is the northern part of the desert is 13 Celsius, the average monthly temperature in July reaches 37.2 degrees (Adrar), and mean daily temperatures can reach 40 degrees or more.

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The maximum recorded temperature – 57.8 degrees (El Azizia, Libya), the ground surface can be heated to 70-80 degrees Celsius.

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Saharan vegetation is sparse, consisting of small communities of grasses, shrubs and trees that grow in the oases. In general, the flora of the Sahara is particularly well suited to irregular rainfall.

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Because of the heat, most of the animals in the Sahara desert are nocturnal. But life here is: the total number of animal species is about 4 million.

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This is not computer graphics, it’s just sand! Who does not believe – take a trip to the Sahara, check)

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Despite the fact that the territory of the Sahara to the territory of the United States, the density of the population (including the valley of the Nile) is estimated at only 0.4 people per square kilometer. km (just 2.5 million).

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Huge spaces are not populated, scattered settlements are formed only from reliable sources of water and islands of vegetation that could feed the cattle.

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In prehistoric times, the Sahara was much more densely populated. Stone artifacts, fossils and rock paintings that are prevalent in areas now too dry to support life, indicate the presence of both human and wild animals, including antelopes, buffaloes, giraffes, elephants, rhinos.

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Bone harpoons, areas of concentration of shells and the remains of fish, crocodiles and hippos suggest the existence of prehistoric settlements on the banks of pristine lakes.

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After the appearance of domestic cattle in the Sahara almost 7 thousand years ago in some groups of nomadic pastoralism has come to dominate over hunting and fishing.

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In the Middle Ages the territory of the Sahara were held caravan routes connecting public education Atlantic coast and market towns of North Africa.

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Goods transported by caravans of camels, dromedaries. The average size of the caravan was about 1,000 camels, and sometimes reached 12,000. Also read the article ” 20 interesting facts about the camel . ”

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According to recent studies, 6,000 years ago in the Sahara were trees and there were many lakes.

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Read also the article ” Journey to the Sahara Desert . ”

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