Deserts are an underestimated landscape on planet earth. It's a bold statement but not without plenty of proof in the form of both pictures and facts, both of which strongly convey how fascinating these environments can be. The stereotype about a desert landscape is that it's barren and often without life - at least, any life that's not yet adapted to deal with desert heat - and this couldn't be further from the truth. While there are deserts around that world that are quite dangerous in their nature and where not much life exists, there are many still which hold beautiful secrets and aren't even necessarily filled with sand and devoid of water.


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By definition, a desert is a place that gets less than ten inches of rain annually, making it a dry climate. With that being said, a dry climate doesn't need to resemble a wasteland, either. If you're still not sold on the idea that deserts can be just as stunning as any other lush, plant-filled environment, then maybe these destinations will change your mind.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Just because we mentioned deserts doesn't mean we meant deserts that hold only sand! Salar de Uyuni is one of the most unique deserts in the world; while it does receive less than ten inches of precipitation per year, its landscape is also made up of something completely different: salt.

The history behind this unusual desert is that it was once a prehistoric lake (as many deserts are) that dried up over the span of centuries. The result was the two smaller lakes along with a vast expanse of salt flats, which can be seen to this day. The sun only adds to the illusion in this desert and on a clear day, the desert becomes reflective of whatever is over it, creating an intense visual effect.

Atacama Desert, Chile

Also known as the driest place on the earth, what's so fascinating about the Atacama is the fact that plants still manage to grow in it. Everything that we know about growing a plant tells us that water is essential; however, in the southern half of the Atacama exists a fog zone in which roughly 230 plant species grow in.

Aside from that, the Atacama is so remote that it has become a haven for stargazers, with many taking to the desert at night in order to observe the incredible night sky above it.

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Pinnacles Desert, Australia

While some might consider Australia's Outback to be the most barren and desolate place in the country, they likely haven't yet seen the Pinnacles Desert. This desert can be found in Nambung National Park which makes it relatively easy to get to and when you do, you'll understand why it's such an amazing place.

Throughout this desert, rock formations in the shape of spires rise into the air as though reaching for the sky, contrasting with the miles of sand dunes that go on for as long as the eye can see. These structures stand out so much thanks to the weathering they've gone through over the centuries, making for a contrasting visual that's quite impressive.

Painted Desert, Arizona

the U.S. is home to several deserts worth visiting but the Painted Desert is by far one of the most stunning. The coloring of this landscape - which includes hues of purple, red, orange, and blue - is thanks to the number of minerals that are found across its terrain.

Avid hikers can look forward to plenty of marked trails in this desert which will provide the best vistas. This desert is so expansive that it stretches from the Grand Canyon all the way to the Petrified Forest.

Antarctic Desert, Antarctica

Surprise! Similar to the salt flats in Bolivia, the Antarctic is also home to a unique desert type that doesn't often come to mind at the mention of one such landscape. The Antarctic is true to the definition of the word 'desert' in the sense that it gets even less than ten inches a year, and that precipitation number is usually around eight inches.

Antarctica is emerging as a popular tourist destination despite its incredible remoteness, however, the people who live there full-time reside in research stations and don't necessarily have the liberty of exploring its barren landscape on the daily. Despite that, Antarctica is knowingly home to plenty of species of wildlife who are able to withstand its frigid temperatures and high winds, making it one of the most fascinating places on earth.

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