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Unique natural phenomenon of the Atacama Desert




The Atacama Desert in Chile is the driest place on Earth. There is no precipitation here for years, and there are even places where it has not rained for centuries. Stones, sand and rare cacti – that’s all the local landscape can boast of.

From time to time some films with action that take place on other planets are produced here. And it is clear why – this is really a Martian landscape and one of the most unearthly places on Earth.

In 2015, during heavy rains in the Southern Hemisphere, a small miracle happened: the desert bloomed! The lifeless earth was covered with a thick carpet of magnificent flowers. The last time this phenomenon was observed here was 18 years ago. For several weeks, the stone-sand landscape was replaced by a real riot of colors – Bomarei, Rhodofilans and Nolans delight everyone who wants to admire such a rare natural phenomenon.

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Atacama Desert. Photo: Jen Morgan, https://www.flickr.com/photos/momocita/6257067494/ (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)

The climate here is so harsh that in some places the air temperature at night can drop below zero, and during the day it can reach more than 50 degrees in the shade!

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Atacama Desert. Photo: Jen Morgan, https://www.flickr.com/photos/momocita/6256532275/ (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)

However, there is a certain type of people who strive here by any means. These are astronomers and astrophotographers. After all, the Atacama Desert is considered the best place on Earth to observe the starry sky. And those who first come here at night simply cannot believe their eyes. It really looks like another planet!

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Starry sky in the desert. Photo: Sebastián García, https://www.flickr.com/photos/sgarciad/35111145824/ (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
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Atacama Desert. Photo: Jenn Dyer, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ordinarygirl19/7269947308/ (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)
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Freight train in blooming desert. Photo: EL GUILLE!, https://www.flickr.com/photos/guillermo_andre/37248380586/ (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
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Freight train in blooming desert. Photo: EL GUILLE!, https://www.flickr.com/photos/guillermo_andre/37259434532/ (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
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Freight train in blooming desert. Photo: EL GUILLE!, https://www.flickr.com/photos/guillermo_andre/21571234649/ (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
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Flowers in the desert. Photo: fabian.kron, https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdoctor/14985363942/ (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)
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Starry sky in the desert. Photo: Tetraigofotos, https://www.flickr.com/photos/tetraigofotos/13210968433/ (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)
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Blooming desert. Photo: Javier Rubilar, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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Blooming desert. Photo: Автор Joselyn Anfossi Mardones from Chiguayante, Chile. (Desierto florido 2010.) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], через Викисклад
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Blooming cacti in the desert. Photo: Автор Yastay (собственная работа) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], через Викисклад
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Blooming cacti in the desert. Photo: Автор Yastay (собственная работа) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], через Викисклад
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Flowers in the desert. Photo: Автор Yastay (собственная работа) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], через Викисклад
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Blooming desert. Photo: Pato Novoa, Wikimedia (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.ru)
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Atacama Desert. Photo: Danielle Pereira, https://www.flickr.com/photos/galeria_miradas/5816249422/ (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
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Starry sky in the desert. Photo: European Southern Observatory, https://www.flickr.com/photos/esoastronomy/14848939018/ (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

Preview: EL GUILLE! / flickr (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

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