Geek Trivia

The Driest Desert On Earth Is Located In?

If You Want To Survive An Unprotected Spacewalk You'd Better Not?

Answer: Chile

There are deserts and then there are deserts. It’s one thing to have low-rainfall, sand, and a general desert vibe, it’s another thing altogether to be The Atacama Desert, the bulk of which is located in the northwestern-most region of Chile, driest desert on Earth.

How dry? It’s difficult to wrap your mind around just how dry the Atacama is. Some of the weather stations located in the desert have never recorded a drop of rainfall. Geologic evidence suggests that some regions of the desert haven’t had significant rainfall any time in the last four hundred years or so. In fact the region has been hyperarid (bone dry, for the layman) for the last three millions years. The average rainfall across the entire region is a scant 0.59 inches a year with some regions receiving as little as 0.04 inches of precipitation.

The region is so arid and inhospitable that NASA has used the region to test equipment for Mars missions and directors have used the arid landscape as a backdrop for space-themed television shows and movies.

Image courtesy of Valerio Pillar.