List of Deserts of the world

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Deserts are the driest part on earth. The reason of a desert being so dry is the fact that it receives very little rainfall. If compared to rainforest, deserts receive less than 300 mm a year whereas rainforest receives over 2000 mm. This clearly shows deserts receive 10% of the total rain that a rainforest gets. Another important factor of desert is the radical change of temperature from day to night. This happens because the air is so dry that heat escapes quickly at night. The temperature during the day ranges around 38°C while at night it may fall as low as -4°C. The location of the desert also influences the temperature greatly.
Due to such extreme weather conditions, the natural vegetation there need to be adaptive. The plants and animals there store water to survive. Plants, such as cactus, store water in their stems while some bushes store water in their leaves and then use it slowly. The plants out there have large roots to collect or gather water. Some plants have a short life cycle that lasts only during the period of rain. Animals like camels store water in their humps. They can go on for days without water.

Main Fact about Deserts:

1) Arid region
2) Extreme temperatures
3) Scarce vegetation.
Depending on temperature, there are 2 kinds of deserts:
1) Hot deserts
2) Cold deserts
  • Location— Africa
  • Size— World’s largest hot desert touching 11 countries.
  • It has gravel plains and elevated plateaus with bare rocky surface.
  • It has harsh climate but still it is inhabited by various groups of people.
  • Important Minerals Found here— Iron, phosphorus, manganese and uranium.
  • Location— It lies in the great Himalayas, on the eastern side of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Climate — The area undergo freezing winds but burning hot sunlight.
  • Vegetation— Scarce vegetation due to high aridity.
  • Animals— Wild sheep, wild goats, yak and special kind of dogs are reared for milk, meat and hides.


The world’s largest desert is Antarctica.

The original meaning of the word desert is ‘an abandoned place’.

Around one third of the Earth’s surface is covered in deserts.

Many of the ice free regions of the Arctic and Antarctic are known as polar deserts.

Only around 20% of the deserts on Earth are covered in sand.

The largest cold desert on Earth is Antarctica & the largest hot desert is Sahara.

The Sahara Desert is located in northern Africa, spanning 11 different countries.

The Atacama Desert, is located in South America and is known as the driest place in the world. Even after this 1 million people are staying there.


List of Deserts of the world :

Rank Name Type Area
1 Antarctica Cold Winter 14,000,000 Antarctica
2 Arctic Cold Winter 13,985,000 Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia
3 Sahara Subtropical 9,000,000+ North Africa (Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara)
4 Arabian Desert Subtropical 2,330,000 Western Asia (Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen)
5 Gobi Desert Cold Winter 1,000,000 Central Asia (Mongolia)
6 Kalahari Desert Subtropical 900,000 Southern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa)
7 Great Victoria Desert Subtropical 647,000 Australia
8 Patagonian Desert Cold Winter 620,000 South America (Argentina and Chile)
9 Syrian Desert Subtropical 520,000 Western Asia (Iraq, Jordan, and Syria)
10 Great Basin Desert Cold Winter 492,000 United States
11 Chihuahuan Desert Subtropical 450,000 North America (Mexico and United States)
12 Great Sandy Desert Subtropical 400,000 Australia
13 Karakum Desert Cold Winter 350,000 Turkmenistan
14 Colorado Plateau Cold Winter 337,000 United States
15 Sonoran Desert Subtropical 310,000 North America (Mexico and United States)
16 Kyzylkum Desert Cold Winter 300,000 Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan)
17 Taklamakan Desert Cold Winter 270,000 China
18 Thar Desert Subtropical 200,000 South Asia (India, Pakistan)
19 Gibson Desert Subtropical 156,000 Australia
20 Dasht-e Margo Subtropical 150,000 Afghanistan
21 Registan Desert Subtropical 146,000 Afghanistan
22 Simpson Desert Subtropical 145,000 Australia
23 Atacama Desert Cool Coastal 140,000 South America (Chile and Peru)
24 Mojave Desert Subtropical 124,000 United States
25 Namib Desert Cool Coastal 81,000 Southern Africa (Angola and Namibia)
26 Dasht-e Kavir Subtropical 77,000 Iran
27 Dasht-e Loot Subtropical 52,000 Iran



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