Which is the driest place on earth?

Covering 1,000 km (600 miles), Atacama Desert, Chile South American desert is one of the driest places on Earth. Some parts have not seen rainfall since records began at least 400 years ago! The northern part of the Atacama Desert contained valuable minerals. Bolivia and Chile attempted to claim the area in the 1800s, causing the War of the Pacific from 1879 to 1884. Chile claimed victory and won control of the region. The extreme ecosystem of the Atacama makes survival difficult for animals. However, red scorpions, grey foxes, desert wasps and butterflies are among the species able to cope with the dry environment. You can also find penguins, sea lions and pelicans nearer the Pacific side.

The Atacama Desert was at the centre of the world’s attention in 2010. Famous for the ‘Copiapo mining accident’, whereby 33 miners survived a record 69 days buried in a 120-year-old copper-gold mine. Thankfully, all 33 miners were safely rescued on 13th October 2010. Often compared to the planet Mars, the Atacama’s landscape and soils are unique. Its appearance is unlike other deserts and several movies and television programmes have been filmed in the area. One of the most famous of which is A Space Odyssey. The Atacama Desert is one of the top three destinations for visitors to Chile. The other top attractions include Easter Island and Chile’s Lake District.


Picture Credit : Google