What Is the Driest Place on Earth? Facts About Atacama Desert

Elmira | 06 - 11 - 2021
what is the driest place on earth

Have you ever wondered what is the driest place on earth? The Atacama desert is recognized as the driest place on the Earth, located in Chile. It has many large deserts with around 200 mm or less precipitation annually. According to NASA studies, this desert is the driest desert and has never received rainfall. This place is known for having no rain for almost four years, particularly in cities including Antofagasta, Calama, and Copiapó, in Chile. Some evidence shows there was no rainfall from 1570 to 1971. If you are curious to learn why it doesn’t rain in the desert, read the complete blog and take our enjoyable quiz on ‘driest spot on earth’ to expand your knowledge.

The Driest City in Northern Chile

Calama is recognized as the driest city in the world with an average precipitation of 5 mm yearly. Calama is a city located on the Loa River in the Antofagasta region in northern Chile. It is a known getaway to the Atacama Desert. It is a commune in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. 

Why is Chile so dry? The region is blocked from moisture on both sides by the Chilean Coast Range and the Andes mountains.

How High Is San Pedro De Atacama?
  • A. 5,400 m
  • B. 2,408 m
  • C. 1,408 m
  • D. 7,200 m

Unbelievable Facts About the Driest Place on Earth

  • The Atacama Desert ( in Spanish: Desierto de Atacama) is South America’s plateau, extending 1,000-kilometre land on the Pacific coast, in the West Andes mountains.
  • As per the estimates, the Atacama Desert covers 105,000 square kilometers. If the barren lower slopes of the Andes are included then it is estimated to be 128,000 square kilometers.
  • Mostly, the desert is made of stony terrain, salt lakes, felsic, sand, and lava run through the Andes.
  • The average rainfall is estimated at around 1mm per year. In some places, no rainfall has been recorded for many years. Places like Arica and Iquique received 1 to 3 mm rainfall per year.
  • The soil in the desert is similar to Mars. The Atacama was featured in the television series Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets.
  • Due to its blockage of moisture, the Atacama Desert is known as the death zone for vegetation, lacking water and nutrients.
  • Atama desert is considered the largest supply of sodium nitrate in the world which is largely used for making fertilizers and explosives.
  • The temperature in the desert is around 40º C (104º F) during the day and at night it falls into 5º C (41º F).
  • Did you know? About one million people call the Atacama Desert their home.

Read Next