Atacama is one of the driest deserts found on Earth. Located in Chile, it covers a huge area of 105,000 square kilometers. While this desert hardly receives any rainfall throughout the year, after an unprecedented and intense rainfall in the North, the desert bloomed into a valley of flowers. It went through a prolonged period of wet winter which was fraught with heavy torrential rainfall.
This spectacular sight of the blooming of different varieties of flowers is owing to a special phenomenon known as the ” ” (flowering desert) phenomenon which usually occurs every five to seven years when torrential rains coerce and cause the buried seeds to germinate and flower. But this bloom is unusual as it has occurred after a short period of two years. The last flowering desert bloom occurred in 2015. Scientists and theorists believe this might be due to the El Nino weather change and its impact on the surroundings.
The blooming phenomenon of 2017 is one of the most outlandish of its types noted after many decades as the rain was exceptionally prolonged and intense. The north of Chile received an unusually heavy rainfall between the months of September and November which resulted in the blossoming of 200 different floral species. The otherwise arid Atacama Desert has been transformed by a virtue of nature to a carpet of flowers. Different flowers germinate at different intervals and this place is frequented by tourists and botanists from Chile and beyond.
Experts anticipate that this flowering phenomenon in the Atacama Desert will reach its pinnacle around the second week in August and the first two weeks in September. This outstanding blooming of the desert only makes us believe a little more in miracles and how Nature never fails to take us by surprise or captivate us with its unusual charm and beauty. This is especially very overwhelming a phenomenon as the desert in question receives less than 1 mm of rainfall annually whereas some areas go without any rainfall as a study by NASA claims. This desert covers a large area and extends to the west of Andes Mountains. The desert’s major terrain comprises of felsic lava, salt lakes, stony and sandy soil. The soil is eerily extra-terrestrial and very similar to the soil found on MARS. As a result, experiments are often conducted on this soil to judge their tenacity on the planet MARS.
This is also the treasure trove of the biggest availability of sodium nitrate in the entire world. Mining excavations were carried out in the 1940’s and later abandoned. It has also been preferred as a filming location for movies related to Mars like Space Odyssey and Voyage to the Planets. It is also considered as abode for stargazing possibilities and is preferred by astronomers for viewing the moon. But as for now, it is in the news for being the most beautiful desert fraught with flowers of different species. Pay a visit now cause it won’t last long.