What Is The Driest Place On Earth?


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Julii Brainard Profile
Julii Brainard answered
Three locations vying for that honour.

The Atacama desert in coastal Chile (South America) has areas that haven't seen rainfall in over 200 years. But it's a cold, foggy desert. Animals and plants survive in some parts, but only by drinking/absorbing dew that comes in with the coastal fog.

The place on Earth with lowest humidity, however, is arguably the Lut desert in eastern Iran. It's so dry there that even bacteria don't survive. Researchers can bring sterilised milk in, leave it uncovered, where day time temperatures reach 160 degrees F (in the shade). The milk doesn't go off.

Another incredibly dry place is Antarctica. Most of the continent receives less than 2 inches of rain or rain equivalent (in the form of snow) per year. That makes it as dry as the Sahara. All that snow you see blowing around is just that, blown around. Very little new stuff.

There's a region called Dry valleys in Antarctica where no snow, water or ice lies on the ground; it's all been blown away. And it hasn't rained there, either, for 2 million years.
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