Mars on Earth: Some Other-Worldly Deserts

COVID-19, Destinations, Travel Safely, Trip Inspiration

If you’re not terrified of sunburn and you’d like to feel like you’re on Mars, then you might want to visit a desert. The stars are beautiful, the Covid-carrying people are far away, and the sun is warm. Here are some of the best throughout the world.

Atacama Desert

Photo by Bailey Hall on Unsplash

I wasn’t lying about Mars. The iron in the earth somehow makes this section of Chile look just like the red planet. Unlike Mars, however, the Atacama is not freezing year-round. From April to June (the southern hemisphere’s autumn), the temperature stays around 78 degrees Fahrenheit. And don’t forget to glance up at night–the Milky Way is visible with the naked eye.

Namib

Photo by Keith Hardy on Unsplash

The Namib is a cool coastal desert in southwestern Africa. Almost no one lives here, and the landscape is as arid and ancient as that of the Atacama (no other deserts come close). Its wind-blown sand dunes are the second largest in the world, its rockier landscapes look like the moon, and its coast feels post-apocalyptically dead.

Antarctic Polar Desert

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

This might be surprising to hear, but Antarctica is ecologically classified as a desert–the largest in the world. It hardly snows there, but when it does, the snow simply turns to ice rather than melting away. It is the hardest-to-reach, hardest-to-survive, emptiest, and overall the most brutal desert in the world. Who wouldn’t want to go?

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