Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert is a desert plateau in South America covering a 1,600 km strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains. The Atacama Desert is the driest nonpolar desert in the world, as well as the only true desert to receive less precipitation than the polar deserts and the largest fog desert in the world. Both regions have been used as experimentation sites on Earth for Mars expedition simulations. The Atacama Desert occupies 105,000 km², or 128,000 km² if the barren lower slopes of the Andes are included. Most of the desert is composed of stony terrain, salt lakes, sand, and felsic lava that flows towards the Andes. The desert owes its extreme aridity to a constant temperature inversion due to the cool north-flowing Humboldt ocean current and to the presence of the strong Pacific anticyclone.

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Microbes in Atacama desert's lost lagoons may mirror early life on Mars

The most intense sunlight on Earth can be found in the Atacama Desert

Astronomer Thomas Marsh confirmed dead following nearly two-month search of the Atacama Desert. Marsh was 60 years old.

Giant Sinkhole Is Growing In Chile’s Atacama Desert

Large Sinkhole Appears In Atacama Desert

See the Milky Way sparkle with two telescopes in Chile's Atacama Desert in this stunning photo

Scientists discover ancient cemetery of flying reptiles in Chile's Atacama desert | Reuters

Massive Comet Exploded over Atacama Desert 12,000 Years Ago, Study Suggests

Massive Comet Exploded over Atacama Desert 12,000 Years Ago, Study Suggests

Mysterious glass in the Atacama Desert may be from an ancient exploding comet

Mummified Birds in The Atacama Desert Reveal a Truly Dark Side of History

Farming brought burst of extreme violence to Atacama Desert, ancient mummies reveal

First farmers in the Atacama desert had a history of brutal violence