There are a lot of misconceptions about deserts from popular culture-of them always being sandy, inhospitable and flat. Those intrepid individuals who have visited or lived in this climate know better and understand that a desert can in fact be a diverse region, with each one being vastly different from the next. Here are ten things that people who are familiar with deserts know.
1. They know that the weather is not always warm
Contrary to desserts always being scorching hot, individuals who have visited deserts know that bringing a jacket is a very good idea. In the wintertime some desert climates can reach freezing temperatures and having bring winter clothes on hand will make sure that you stay warm and healthy.
2. They understand how serious dehydration can be in this dry climate
One of the major characteristics of a desert is that it lacks significant moisture and therefore all living things passing through can get easily dehydrated. To combat this potentially fatal situation, those who have been to the desert know that you should pay special attention to staying hydrated and if need be there are some plants where you can drink water from.
3. They know that the desert is not always flat
Despite common misconceptions stemming from popular culture, deserts are not always a flat landscape as far as the eye can see. People who are familiar with this landscape know about the diversity and that mountains can exist in a desert as well as flatter plains.
4. They know that sometimes it rains frequently in some desert climates
Arizona is located in the Sonoran Desert and is known to be one of the wettest deserts in the world with 3 to 20 inches of rain per year. People who have visited this area of the US know that despite common misconceptions, you sometimes need to bring your umbrella with you to the desert.
5. They know that there is plenty of plant life within the desert
Individuals who have visited deserts before, are aware that there is plenty of plant life that grows in these drier climates. Those people who have visited the Sahara Desert are familiar with the abundance of plant life that grows there, including a thousand different plant species.
6. They understand the desert is not made up of just sand
For people who have been to the desert before, they realize that the desert is not just made up of endless sand dunes. In places like the Sahara desert, visitors will know that the landscape is actually just 30 percent sand and actually 70 percent gravel.
7. They understand that deserts are not inhospitable to humans
Many of the deserts around the world have humans calling these drier climates their homes. Those who have visited the Sahara may be familiar with the fact that around 2 million people live in this region of the world.
8. They know that it is home to the toughest marathon in the world
It may be hard to imagine walking for long stretches in a desert, nonetheless running 26.2 miles in the blistering heat. The Marathon Des Sables takes place in southern Morrocco every year and those who have visited a desert know that this is no easy feat.
9. They know that various climates can exist within one desert
Within the Sahara Desert exists many micro-climates and people who have visited this area of the world know firsthand the diverse in weather. In the northern region, it is subtropical and in the southern part there is a completely tropical climate.
10. They know that Antarctica is the biggest desert in the world
The Sahara Desert is often thought of as the largest desert on the planet, but those who have visited the frozen tundra of Antarctica know that it is actually a large desert, much larger than the Sahara.
Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com