Desert Facts

Aaron Black

What's it like?

The hot desert is a land of extreme tempurture changes and sudden flash floods. Because of these events deserts have names like "Death Valley" or "the empty quarter"


The temperatures in the desert are extreme for day and night. In the day it goes up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and low temperatures as low as -2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plant life

Deserts are the home to many living things. This may not sound right but deserts are second only to tropical rain forests because of plant and animal species that live there.

Animal life

Animals in the desert have to survive in this hostile environment. Intense heat, searing sun, and lack of water are just a few of the challenges that desert animals face.


Many deserts are found in bands along 30 degrees latitude north and 30 degrees latitude south (between the red lineson the map).

Sometimes deserts located by mountains and are caused by the "rainshadow" effect. As air moves up over a mountain range, it gets cold and loses the ability to hold moisture -- so it rains or snows. When the air moves down the other side of the mountain, it gets warmer. Warm air can hold lots of moisture, so it doesn't rain as much, and a desert is formed.

Top 5 largest deserts in the world


Sahara desertNorthern Africa9.10 million km2


Arabian desertSouth-west Asia2.33 million km2


Gobi desertCentral Asia1.29 million km2


Patagonian desertArgentina / Chile673,000 km2


Great Basin desertUnited States492,000 km2

Can you live in the desert?

Yes but you would need heaters for the night and air conditioning for the day.

Is there water? If so where at in the desert?

Yes, it under the sand and in cactus, too.

Types of animals

There is surprisingly a lot of life in the desert such as the road runner, the meerkat, the amodillo lizard, and the black widow.