A desert is any region on Earth that receives very little precipitation. Most climatologists and geomorphologists classify regions with less than 250 mm of average annual precipitation as deserts. This article briefs you about the three largest deserts in the world. The largest desert in the world might be a surprise for most people.
Which is the largest desert in the world?
Most people think of a barren sandy landscape with cacti when they think of a desert. But as the definition says, the desert is any region with less than 250 mm of precipitation. The polar regions of Earth are also deserts as they receive very little rain or snow.
Antarctica (Antarctic desert) is the largest desert in the world. It receives less than 200 mm of precipitation each year, that too mostly in coastal regions. The antarctic desert has an area of roughly 5.5 million square miles (14.2 million square kilometers).
(Also read: 18 interesting facts about Antarctica)
The Arctic desert
The Arctic desert is the second largest desert in the world. Just a tad smaller than Antarctica, it has an area of roughly 5.4 million square kilometers. The Arctic desert consists of parts of Alaska (USA), Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. The human population in the Arctic is very small, mostly consisting of indigenous peoples who have lived there for thousands of years.
The Sahara desert
The Sahara desert is the third largest desert in the world. It is a hot subtropical desert located in Northern Africa and has an area of roughly 3.5 square miles (9.2 million square kilometers). It is the largest hot desert in the world. It consists of parts of Algeria, Tunisia, Chad, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Egypt, and Sudan. The average precipitation in most parts of the Sahara desert is less than 100 mm (4 inches).