21 Fascinating Sahara Desert Fun Facts You Should Know

Before your desert trip, let’s take some time to learn 21 Sahara Desert fun facts you may not have known!

Not only is the scenery breathtaking in the Sahara, but there are also plenty of interesting facts about this impressive desert that you need to know. From its long history to its various flora and fauna, read on for a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about the Sahara Desert.

21 AMAZING Sahara Desert Fun Facts!

The Sahara Desert is one of the most fascinating places on earth. It’s vast and mysterious, and has been a major source of inspiration for artists and writers throughout history. And, guess what? There’s TONS of Sahara Desert fun facts out there!

For instance, did you know that the Sahara Desert has been a major producer of salt for centuries? And that it still contains many unexplored places? Or that the desert has been the site of many epic battles?

Check out these 21 fascinating Sahara Desert fun facts to learn more about this amazing desert.

1. How hot is the Sahara Desert?

The Sahara Desert is one of the hottest places on Earth, with temperatures reaching as high as 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). The sand dunes are so hot that it is impossible to walk on them without getting burnt.

2. How old is the Sahara Desert?

The Sahara Desert is one of the oldest deserts in the world and has been around for over 4 million years. Actually, nearly 5 million!

It has an amazing history – from being inhabited by prehistoric humans through to being home to large mammals like lions and elephants, today’s Sahara Desert holds many mysteries waiting to be unlocked. If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating landscape, keep reading!

3. When did the Sahara Desert dry up?

The Sahara wasn’t always a desert. Trees and grasslands dominated the landscape from roughly 10,000 years ago to 5,000 years ago.

What happened is that the North African rainforest was chopped down and sandstorms became more intense as a result. Today, the desert covers an area 2 times what it used to! 

Fortunately, there are still a few patches of green vegetation left in this arid region – these are called oases. Let’s take a closer look at them later!

4. Why is it named the “Sahara” Desert?

The Sahara Desert is one of the most fascinating places on Earth. It gets its name from the Arabic word for ‘desert’ which is ‘Sahra’. Another potential reason it is named the “Sahara” desert because of a misunderstanding – Europeans thought the sand was made from sapphire gems, hence the name “Sahara” desert. However, this amazing place has still captured our hearts and minds for centuries due to its unrivaled beauty and endless possibilities for exploration.

5. What is the Sahara Desert most known for?

The Sahara Desert is famous for its size – it’s the largest desert in the world! But we’ll get into the details of that later. 

What other interesting facts about this place are there? In this article, we will discuss some of the most interesting facts about the Sahara Desert.

6. Could the Sahara Desert turn green again?

It is believed that the Sahara Desert could turn green again in the future. The reason why this may happen is because of climate change – as temperatures rise, there are chances of more rainfall and vegetation returning to the desert. Of course, this isn’t anything definite yet – so take things with a pinch of salt (or sand)!

It is said every 40,000 years, the desert changes from arid to lush. We’ll see!

However, even if it’s not possible for the entire Sahara Desert to become green again anytime soon, there’s still much to learn and explore about this amazing place. Keep reading for some fun Sahara desert facts that might surprise you!

7. What animals live in the Sahara Desert?

The Sahara Desert is home to a vast and diverse animal kingdom, with over 400 species of mammals and 1,500 species of birds. Some of the most notable creatures include Gazelles, Addaxes, Oryxes and Springboks as well as 30 different lemur species that call the Saharan forests their home. Other animals you’ll find in this desert environment include sand cats and sandgrouse.

8. How deep is the sand in the Sahara Desert?

When it comes to deserts, the Sahara Desert is a pretty big deal. Not only does it have some of the largest dunes in the world, but its sand also lies up to 600 feet deep!

Due to wind erosion, this desert has seen levels of sand go much deeper in certain regions – making them look like lakes or seas. The lack of rainfall further contributes to blowing sand all over place and making it difficult for plants and animals to survive.

In fact, according to reports, an adult can easily get buried under layers of sand if they wander around without any proper experience. So make sure you take a great local guide when visiting these vast, arid lands!

9. Is there a lost city in the Sahara Desert?

The Sahara Desert is one of the world’s largest desert regions, covering nearly one fourth of Africa. It’s also one of the most unexplored areas on Earth, with many mysteries still waiting to be revealed.

One such mystery is a lost city that was undetected for centuries – Timgad! Discovered only relatively recently by archaeologists, this awe-inspiring Roman city offers a fascinating read for anyone interested in history, geography, and adventure.

There are perhaps several other lost cities lurking in the sand dunes – waiting to be rediscovered by curious explorers like you! So why not saddle up your camel and start looking?

10. How big is the Sahara Desert?

If you’re wondering just how big the Sahara Desert is, then read on for some interesting insights! The desert covers an area of more than 8 million square kilometers and it’s larger than both the United States and France combined. In terms of sand dunes, it can stretch for up to 400 kilometers -making it one of the most impressive landscapes on Earth.

Aside from its size, another fascinating fact about the Sahara Desert is that it equates to approximately 2% of our planet’s total landmass; most of which still remains unexplored. With so much left to explore, there’s no doubt that this desert has plenty to offer those looking for a unique travel experience.

11. Which country owns the most of the Sahara Desert?

Algeria owns most of the Sahara Desert, with a total area of 936,000 square kilometers.

Sudan is second on this list, with an area of 718,200 square kilometers. Chad comes in third with its 504,100 square kilometer desert territory. Mali and Mauritania round out the top five countries in terms of Sahara Desert land ownership!

12. Many scenes from the Star Wars movies were shot in the Sahara Desert

If you’re movie buffs like us, chances are you’ve seen scenes from Star Wars shot all over the world. But who would have thought that one of the most photogenic and exotic locations for filming movies could be in the Sahara Desert?

The Sahara Desert is home to some of the most stunning landscapes on Earth. This vast area has miles and miles of sand dunes, oases and rocks – perfect for shooting scenes related to space adventures, desert war stories or just general cinematic magic!

Some of the most famous scenes were actually filmed in Tunisia’s Sahara Desert, including Luke Skywalker’s podrace to retrieve his X-wing fighter built by C-3PO and R2D2 as well as Darth Vader’s battle against Rebel forces at Hoth. 

Needless to say, it makes for an amazing adventure if you’re looking for something out of this world!

13. How tall are the Sahara Desert sand dunes?

The sand dunes of the Sahara desert are some of the tallest in the world. They can reach heights of up to 600 feet tall, and they move around every year due to the wind. These sand storms can last for days on end, and their intense winds can carry miles upon miles of sand with them!

14. Does anyone live in the Sahara?

Today, around 2 million people live in the Sahara desert. This is a decrease from earlier estimates of up to 10 million people living in the desert at one point. The majority of these people (around 60%) are nomads who move between villages and oases during different seasons. 

There are also indigenous Berber tribes living in the desert as well as those that have moved there recently due to fleeing war-torn areas elsewhere in Africa.

The Saharan bedouin nomads were instrumental in trading goods with far off civilizations years ago through salt routes across the Sahara. Furthermore, it is a great place for learning about ancient civilizations like Nabataeans and Romans as they roamed throughout its vast expanse. Today’s visitors can still explore many archaeological sites by camel or on foot thanks to well-maintained tourist trails.

15. The Sahara Desert is made up of 70% rock

The Sahara Desert is a great place to study natural geography as it is made up of 70% rock. This makes it an incredibly diverse region with many different types of landscapes – from sand dunes to gravel plains. Contrary to popular belief, most of the desert isn’t made up of fine sand but rocks and gravel. In fact, only around 30% of the desert is covered in sand! So if you’re looking for a fascinating landscape that’s full of interesting facts, then the Sahara Desert should definitely be on your radar!

16. How many countries does the Sahara Desert span?

The Sahara Desert spans 11 counties of North Africa. All the way from the shore of the Red Sea to the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Those countries are: Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia.

Want more Sahara Desert fun facts? Keep reading. . .

17. Does anything grow in the Sahara Desert?

The Sahara Desert is the largest desert in the world and unsurprisingly, it doesn’t have much vegetation. However, a few types of plants do manage to grow there – thanks to the high levels of water vapor and salt in the air. More than half of all plants found in Africa were once found in this immense desert – testament to its immense biodiversity.

There are seasonal monsoons that bring rain to the desert which helps support life. There were once over 3,000 species of plants in this ecosystem – making it one of the most diverse deserts on Earth!

18. Have dinosaur fossils been found in the Sahara Desert?

The Sahara Desert is a hotbed of geological activity, which has led to the discovery of dinosaur fossils. One such site is the Atarib National Park, where scientists have found over 120 fossils dating back to the Triassic period. The area around the park is also home to some of Africa’s oldest sand dunes, which are estimated to be up to 2 million years old! Just imagine the secrets waiting to be uncovered in this mostly unexplored terrain – so far it seems as if science has only just begun scratching the surface!

19. How many oasis towns are in the Sahara Desert?

As one of the world’s most arid environments, the Sahara desert is home to a number of oasis towns that have been built to exploit its water resources. It is estimated there are around 20 oases spanning the Sahara Desert. 

Oasis towns range in size from a few hundred to a few thousand people and are usually located within one hundred kilometres of each other.

Many of these settlements were established in the early 20th century as stop overs for travelers and traders. The oasis towns have retained their traditional architecture and culture despite being isolated from the rest of the world. The water supplies in these settlements are highly prized, fetching high prices on the black market – something which has made them attractive targets for criminals as well as terrorist organizations.

20. Is the Sahara Desert growing?

The Sahara desert is one of the largest sand deserts in the world, and it’s growing rapidly! Parts of the desert have increased in size by as much as 230 square kilometers (100 square miles) over just a few decades – that’s an area larger than Monaco!

This rapid desertification could have serious implications for wildlife and human populations living in or near the desert. If we want to save the Sahara Desert from becoming a barren wasteland, we need to act now!

21. Taking a Sahara Desert tour is one of the best things to do in North Africa!

If you’re looking for an amazing way to spend a few days, consider taking a Sahara Desert tour. This barren and desert-ridden landscape is full of interesting sights that will leave you feeling inspired.

Whether exploring by camel, bicycle, 4×4 or on foot, the vast spaces are perfect for long driving tours or hiking trips. At night, when the orange sky becomes illuminated by stars, it’s hard not to feel dwarfed by nature’s power and beauty.

To make sure your trip is as enjoyable as possible – and to avoid any unwanted surprises – don’t hesitate to contact us before booking! Our experts can help pick the right tour for you and answer all your questions about this incredible place.

Book Your Sahara Desert Safari Today!

Did you know that the Sahara Desert is one of the largest sand deserts in the world? Did you also know that the sand dunes get up to a height of 600 feet? These are just a few of the fascinating Sahara desert fun facts that we hope you learned! So, why not learn more about this amazing desert at our website? We’ve got all the information you need to get lost in this desert wonderland as well as the rest of the great country of Algeria.

We can even help you book a tour or propose an itinerary.

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