A desert is a barren area of land, which is mostly non-usable by human being. In desert, it is difficult for animal as well as human being to live due to high/low temperature. It is near to impossible to do farming in the desert to live a good life.

On this planet, there is a huge land which is covered by desert. In this article, we have compiled a list of the largest deserts in the world.

10 Largest Deserts in the World

1. Antarctica – 14 million km²

Antarctica is a lonely continent, the fifth-largest continent in area after Asia, Africa, North America and South America. FYI, Antarctica is nearly double the size of Australia. The whole continent has a zero population and no one resides there permanently.

Only a few hundred scientists and researchers reside in the continent for the research projects only. Antarctica is the largest desert in the world with an area of 14,000,000 sq. km. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations.

Antarctica Desert
Antarctica Desert

2. Sahara Desert – 9.2 million km²

The Sahara is the second largest desert in the world. It is the largest subtropical hot desert in the world. The whole desert covers an area of 9,400,000 sq.km.

The desert spread in many countries i.e. Algeria, Western Sahara, Chad, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Niger, Libya, Morocco, Mali, and Mauritania. FYI, some of the sand dunes sometime reach as high as 180 metres in height.

Sahara Desert
Sahara Desert

3. Arabian Desert – 2.33 million km²

The Arabian Desert is the third largest desert in the world. It is located in Western Asia and covering many countries such as Yemen, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman.

The whole desert covers an area of 2,330,000 sq. km. The desert had been damaged severely due to the military actions of the United States and NATO.

Arabian Desert
Arabian Desert

4. Gobi Desert – 1.295 million km²

The Gobi Desert is the fourth largest deserts in the world. It is the second largest cold winter deserts in the world. The whole desert covers an area of 1,000,000 sq. km. The desert spread over two countries, namely, Mongolia, and China.

The Gobi is a rain shadow desert formed by the Himalaya range blocking rain-carrying clouds from the Indian Ocean from reaching the Gobi territory.

Gobi Desert
Gobi Desert

5. Kalahari Desert – 930,000 km²

The Kalahari Desert is the third largest subtropical deserts in the world. The whole desert covers an area of 900,000 sq. km., which spread in four countries, namely, South Africa, Angola, Namibia, and Botswana.

The Kalahari Desert came into existence approximately sixty million years ago along with the formation of the African continent.

Kalahari Desert
Kalahari Desert

6. Patagonian Desert – 670,000 km²

The Patagonian Desert is the sixth largest deserts in the world. It covers an area of 620,000 sq.km. and considered as the third largest cold winter deserts in the world. The desert spread over two countries, namely, Chile and Argentina.

Despite the heavy deserted area, there are a number of animals live in the whole desert. You would also find fauna and flora in the desert.

Patagonian Desert
Patagonian Desert

7. Syrian Desert – 520,000 km²

The Syrian Desert, which is also known as the Syro-Arabian Desert, is the 7th largest desert in the world. The desert covers an area of 520,000 sq. km. The desert spread over four countries, namely, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. FYI, the desert is very rocky and flat.

Syrian Desert
Syrian Desert

8. Great Basin Desert – 492,000 square km

The Great Basin Desert is the ninth largest deserts in the world. It covers an area of 492,000 sq. km. in the United States. It is the largest desert in the United States by area.

Wheeler Peak is the highest point in Nevada’s Great Basin Desert. The Great Basin Desert is a cold desert caused by the rain shadow effect from the Sierra Nevada to the west.

Great Basin Desert
Great Basin Desert

9. Great Victoria Desert – 348,750 km²

The Great Victoria Desert is the ninth largest desert in the world. The desert covers an area of 348,750 sq.km. and spread in the two Australia states, namely, South Australia and Western Australia. Wildlife adapted to these harsh conditions includes few large birds or mammals.

Great Victoria Desert
Great Victoria Desert

10. Chihuahuan Desert – 362,600 km²

The Chihuahuan Desert is the tenth largest deserts in the world. It covers an area of 362,600 km². The desert spread over two countries, namely, the United States and Mexico.

There are several large mountains located in the desert such as the Sacramento Mountains, the Sierra Madre, the Davis Mountains, the Franklin Mountains, and others.

Chihuahuan Desert
Chihuahuan Desert

Article last re-published on February 6, 2020.

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