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10 Surprising Things We've Learned From The Desert

Deserts can be seen as bland and barren places, making up 33 percent of the Earth's land surface. Vast and mostly uninhabited, they can be hot or cold. The largest is the Antarctic polar desert at 14.2 square kilometers (5.5 million mi 2 ), followed closely by the Arctic.

animals with unique qualities call the desert home. In addition, these otherworldly landscapes hold more secrets than one might think.

Here, we explore a few discoveries and common misconceptions about these overlooked terrains.

10 Cacti, desert grasses, and beetles have one thing in common-they collect water from the evening fog and use it to keep them hydrated in the desert where lifesaving moisture is hard to come by. Bumps on the Beetle's Back Collect Water and then it's directly into the Creature's Mouth. Similarly, cacti and grasses collect water at their tips. The subtle cone shape of their leaves, which is contoured with small grooves, is a reflection of their roots.

But newer technology has done better by allowing us to pull drinkable water from the air with humidity levels of only 1

0 percent. One such appliance runs on ambient sunlight-perfect for extreme desert situations. [1]

9 Desert Dust is making it cold

Dust from the Sahara is cooling the Iberian Peninsula. Keeping track of atmospheric dust is becoming important even though it can be difficult to measure.

The second storm was more intense.

Distribution of the light's wavelength also comes into play. Sunlight is usually visible in shortwaves. Thus, the creation of the cooling effect. [2]

8 How Mangroves Store Carbon

Mangroves growing along the coastal edge of Baja California's desert and in a lot of carbon black and white tropical forest trees.

This type of carbon sink is called blue carbon-that is stored by oceans and coastal ecosystems like marshes, seagrasses, and algae.

When taking samples from roots at two locations, researchers found a 2,000-year-old layer of peat 4 meters (13 ft) under the trees. Peat acts as a carbon sponge, recording the history of sea level rises.

This is only true of mangroves growing in rocky inlets where they have a need to create their own soil to stay rooted. Mangroves living in areas without much tide tend to store more. [3]

Unfortunately, the mangroves are often removed to make room for development and other man -made constructions. When this happens, thousands of years' worth of carbon is released into our atmosphere.

7 Discover Microbial Life On Mars

Chile's Atacama Desert is the driest nonpolar desert of our planet and one of only a handful of places on Earth. Remarkably, researchers have found microbial life in this dusty, hostile landscape, proving that a limited ecosystem could exist on Mars.

Unsurprisingly, microbes lived well after rainstorms but started to live again long spells without water.

Lying a few feet below the Earth's surface, they enter into a child of dormancy until the rain comes back again. [4]

6 How Sand From The Desert Melts Snow In The Mountains

Not only could it be snowing, too. Scientists have been observing how the Utah desert could have been impacting snow melts in the Wasatch Mountains. They are both in the air and in the snow. [5]

Computer modeling showed that it was a dry day, which was created recently by declining water levels.

Cities rely on the snow not only as a source of water in a staggering 85 percent of Utah's population live within a 24-kilometer (15 mi) radius of the Wasatch Mountains-but as the revenue for adventure-seeking snow sports enthusiasts.

5 There Are Desert Glaciers-And They Can Shrink During An Ice Age

Can glaciers shrink in the midst of an ice age?

They can. In the high altitude of Mongolia's Gobi Desert – the world's fifth largest at about 1.3 million square kilometers (500,000 mi 2 ) – some glaciers were found to be growing thousands of years after the ice age was over. [19659002] Others in the greater or lesser extent than the glacial period. [6]

This conclusion was made by using a dating technique that measures changes in rocks after being exposed by glacial melt. Most of the gobi is made up of rock as opposed to sand. Researchers were so surprised by the results that they hurried back to double-check.

Lack of precipitation in the cold, dry environment of an ice age makes it difficult for the glaciers to accumulate ice. But when the climate warmed, fresh snow added to their size. These high-altitude, desert-knit "starving glaciers" grow slowly and are less likely to be altered by temperature shifts. They only melt when they are hit by direct sunlight.

4 Aboriginal Australians Probably Probably The First To Use Controlled Burning

Sure, we all know that controlled burning curbs wildfires and protects flowers and other plants.

They have been using low-intensity fires to clear areas for game hunting and to promote the growth of plants needed for food. They are done so that they are caring for the land, not harming it. Fire is a central part of their culture. The Nyungar tribe's word for "fire" is karl and karlup means "place of fire, my home."

Hot and cool fires must be used in a specific way and be performed at certain times. Depending on the location and type of vegetation, some areas require more time between burns. Cool burns leave seed beds intact and do not destroy the upper layers of the forest.

This is a tree in southwestern Australia. Careful study of the trees shows that their needlelike leaves fall to the ground in a thatch-like pattern. Then the leaves become part of the trunk, creating dark and light rings that represent growth. In addition, there is a third black mark in the bark that could be green needles that were burned in a fire.

Many of these trees are hundreds of years old. [7]

3 How A Saharan Dinosaur Can Solve The Mystery Of Continental Drift

Little is known about the African desert during the Late Cretaceous-specifically, what other animals were living there, how they moved around, and how they were related. We know that in the early days of dinosaurs, all the continents were together as Pangea. But exactly when it started to break apart is unclear.

With many of Africa's fossils hidden beneath rainforest and other vegetation Mansourasaurus shahinae fossil in the Sahara has become extremely important.

Mansourasaurus is more closely related to European dinosaurs than to these [8]

2 How To Live On Mars [19659042] The Mars Desert Research Station created by the Mars Society, which was founded in 1998 by dr. Robert Zubrin, read a few miles outside Hanksville, Utah.

This simulation compound sports several buildings, including a greenhouse, solar observatory, and engineering pod which are all connected by underground tunnels. This allows would-be Martians to move from building to building without needing a space suit.

The diverse abundance of flora and fauna as well as the relatively cool temperature makes it especially interesting to astrobiologists. They may practice doing fieldwork in extraterrestrial conditions. to life that we might find on Mars.

1 Common Desert Bush Used to Fight Brain-Eating Disease

Compounds in the creosote bush, commonly found in deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico, have recently been used as anti-parasitic drug against several kinds of infections. This includes Naegleria fowleri a single-celled organism that causes a rare and often fatal brain-eating disease diagnosed most frequently in southern states.

It lives in freshwater sources and frequently in the silt or soil nearby , This heat and bacteria-loving organism thrives at around 46 degrees Celsius (115 ° F). [10]

The bush is also known by two other names: Larrea tridentata (Latin) and gobernadora (Spanish). It is easy to pick in the desert with its showy yellow flowers, evergreen leaves, and unique turpentine scent.

Native Americans have long been using their unique properties to treat a variety of illnesses, including gastrointestinal complaints.

Kate Alsbury is a freelance writer and marketing consultant. She is also the editor of Jalmurra a journal dedicated to finding the link between science and art. Catch her on Twitter @ KateAlsbury .

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