Landscape Facts: 9 World’s Top Largest Deserts

Landscape Facts: 9 World’s Top Largest Deserts

The desert is characterized as an area whose landscape receives a significantly small amount of rainfall throughout the year, this land is mostly barren. Since the dry living conditions make animal and plant life there in hostile. Nonetheless, it is estimated that about ⅓ of the land surface of the Earth is either arid or semi-arid.

Deserts are classified depending on the amount of rain that falls the causes of desertification there, their prevailing temperature, and by their geographical location. Animals and plants have special adaptations to help them survive the tough and hostile environment.



It has 5,500,000 square miles, Antarctica is considered the most extreme continent on Earth and is located in the South Pole. This probably belongs to the most wtf fun facts that you don’t know. On average, it is the driest, windiest, and coldest continent on earth while also having the highest average elevation compared to any other continents.

The entirety of Antarctica is a desert with an annual precipitation of less than 200 millimeters. The temperatures are generally very cold and may drop as low as -89 degrees Celsius in winter and as high as around 15 degrees Celsius in summer at times in some coastal places.

For this reason, there are no permanent residents there, temporary residents ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 throughout the year consists mainly of scientific researchers and their supporting details.


Ranging about 5,400,000 square miles, this desert occupies the North Pole region. The Arctic desert forms the second largest desert globally. The desert partially occupies parts of the territories claimed or controlled by Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States of America.

Precipitation generally occurs as snow and winter temperature can drop to less than -40 degrees Celcius. The desert is characterized by high winds that stir up snow creating an illusion of persistent and continuous snowfall.

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The Arctic is very vulnerable to climate change there has been a reduction of sea ice there increasingly raising concerns over the Arctic. Ice cover shrinkage due to global warming which could have profound impacts on weather patterns globally.

Sahara Desert

It is about 3,500,000 square miles this is the third-largest desert overall and the largest hot desert in the world. It comprises most of the land in North Africa excluding the regions of Maghreb. The Atlas mountains and the coastal region adjacent to the Mediterranean sea.

Most of the desert is comprised of rocky hamada, a large land area covered with sand dunes. The land surface is constantly being reshaped by winds, far less frequently, extremely low and rare rainfall.

There’s no vegetation growing in the central part of the desert as a result of the virtually non-existent precipitation. Most of the rivers are intermittent and seasonal, the major exception is the Nile which is the chief River across the desert.

Arabian Desert

This desert has a land surface of about 900,000 square miles located in far western Asia covering most of the Arabian peninsula. It engulfs much of Yemen, the Persian Gulf, Oman, Jordan, and Irag.

Its center Rub’ al Khali the empty quarter, forms the largest continuous body of sand in the world. The climate is very dry while the temperature isolates between regular characteristically high heat on one end of the spectrum and seasonal nighttime freezes on the other.

Gobi Desert

It is locater in Asia, it occupied about 500,000 square miles of land surface it covers parts of Northwestern and Northern China and extends into the south of Mongolia. The Gobi is termed as a rainshadow desert as it is in the leeward side of the Himalayas ranges which block the rain.

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Rainshadow keeping clouds from the Indian Ocean from reaching the Gobi. Most of the gobies surface is not sandy but rather bare rock, it is a cold desert, and snow occasionally will accumulate on its dunes.

Kalahari Desert

It has a land surface of about 360,000 square miles, this is a vast semi-arid savanna in southern Africa. It covers parts of Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa. The desert is large areas that are covered with red sand without permanent surface water drainage. Seasonally, inundated pans, dry basins, or dry valleys, and salt pans. The Okavango is the only permanent river that flows to a delta in Northwest.

Great Victoria Desert

It occupies a land surface about 220,000 square miles, the Great Victoria with its characteristics numerous sandhills is the largest in Australia. It stretches from the Gawler ranges of South Australia to the Eastern Gold Fields region in Western Australia.

Thunderstorms are very common in this desert with an average of about 15 to 20 thunderstorms per year. During winter temperatures in Great Victoria fall to around 20 degrees Celsius while during summer the temperature ranges from 32 to 40 degrees Celsius. Rainfall is erratic from year-to-year and low overall typically ranging from 200 to 250 millimeters per annum.

Patagonian Desert

This is the largest desert in the South American nation of Argentina it has a land surface totaling about 200,000 square miles. It is primarily located in Argentina though parts extend into Chile, Patagonia is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Andes mountain to the west.

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It is a cold winter desert and temperatures there rarely exceed 12 degrees Celsius and average only 3 degrees Celsius. The desert is relatively windy due to the descending mountain air and the rain shadow effect.

Syrian Desert

This desert is a combination of a true desert and a step. It is located in the north of the Arabian Peninsula in the region of Syria, it occupies about 200,000 square miles of the total landmass. The desert is flat but very rocky, the landscape was formed by lava flows emanating from volcanic activities in the region of Jabal Druze in Syria.


For many generations, people have struggled to occupy desert regions as well, but some people dwelling in the desert who mostly have moved with their flocks from area to area depending on where there are grazing opportunities and the sporadic accessibility of the oases that have enabled windows of opportunity for settled life within these deserts.

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