The Seven Largest Deserts in the World

4. Arabian Desert

Totalling 900,000 square miles, this second-largest subtropical desert stretches across most of the Arabian Peninsula and stretches into Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Saudia Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Sand dunes and quicksand feature prominently across the desert. Temperatures in the Arabian Desert can reach 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter nights can have temperatures below freezing. In recent years, people living in the desert and surrounding countries have found ways to release groundwater reserves that have been trapped since ancient times.

3. Sahara Desert

Far and away the largest subtropical desert on Planet Earth is the Sahara, stretching 3,320,000 square miles across northern Africa. “Sahara” is an Arabic word meaning “Great Desert.”

To the north is the Mediterranean Sea; to the west is the Atlantic Ocean; the Red Sea is to the east; and to the south are the Sudan and the Niger River valley.

The Sahara Desert stretches through the countries of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara.

Winds that blow through the Sahara can reach hurricane force, and sand storms can be deadly. Dunes are prevalent, but the Sahara has many peaks as well, incluging Emi Koussi, a volcano that stretches 11,204 feet into the sky above Chad’s Tibesti Mountains.

2. Arctic Desert

The frozen Arctic wasteland is 5.3 million square miles and covers parts of Alaska, Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. Temperatures are so cold in this area that the air cannot hold moisture; this is why the area is classified as a desert.

Number 1

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David White