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  Facts about this desert

The name

Taklamakan Desert, but also Taklimakan and Teklimakan. It is often referred to as the "desert of death", "Sea of Death" or the "place of no return", And this should give you the idea of the high danger of this desert. Taklamakan has perilous sand storms and drought, poisonous snakes and extreme weather.

In summer the temperature range between day and night can reach 40 degree Celsius.
Max: + 40°C
Min: around 0°C during the night
The lowest temperatures reach -28°C in winter
Altitude: from 700 to 1440 mt
Area: 337,000 square kilometers

Located between China's Kunlun and Tian Shan Mountains, thousands of kilometres from any open body of water, accounts for the cold character of its nights even during summertime.

From just about every standpoint - geography, ecology, psychology and symbolism, the Taklamakan Desert is a fearsome, nightmarish place.

Just dunes and sand

85 percent of the total area consists of mobile sand dunes. The Taklamakan Desert has no permanent population, and few travelers brave crossing it due to its inhospitable terrain.

The Taklamakan Desert is distinguished by its constantly moving sand dunes. Its vast sea of gold sand is whipped into crescent-shaped sand dunes, some of which soar to 100 to 500 meters tall when winds reach hurricane force. Camels are the only animals able to tackle these monstrous dunes -- the way their feet splay outwards stops them from sinking into the sand.

The Taklamakan Desert is almost devoid of vegetation. Tamarisk, nitre bushes and reeds are the only types of greenery found in the depressions between the dunes; however, plant life is much richer along the edges of the desert area.


How big is it ?

Just to give you an idea: it is as big as Germany. The layer of sand is 35 meters... it means you should dig that much before to hit any rock…

The area is 337,000 square kilometers

From west to east is more than 1000 km... and then you have the Gobi desert...
From north to south is more than 400 km

The wind

The storms are also very harsh. In fact, aspectator may be able to view 8-10 tornadoes from one viewpoint on a clear day. Sandstorms darken the midday sky to make it look just like night.
The wind moves sand that destroyed many towns and villages, swallowing lives, legends and details. For this reason the Taklamakan is the world's largest underground treasury of cultural relics. The envitonment so dry preserves everything, human bodies included. 4000 years old mummies have been found...

The north and the south road were paths of the the silk road some of the cities along the way are alost disappeared. Subashi and Yurturgan ae just some of them.

This is on May 27, 2008 . The estimated dust covering area of 27,000 square kilometers.


But it is incredibly beautiful

The TaklaMakan desert is as beautiful as dangerous, people say… Imagine a world where you can feel the past in the ruins of ancient cities half buried from the sand, where you can hear the sound of the silence, and sometime the music of the wind. Sometime you can walk among dunes and spot a poplar in the middle of nowhere.

Wild camels still live there, and it is unbelievable how they can survive. Your eyes can be freed by this ocean of sand, the horizon is where the planet start to bend. And then you listen to it… the Singing of the Desert. When Marco Polo heard it in China, he suspected evil spirits. Emanating from a sandy hill. Scientists today call it "singing sand," but they're all referring to the same thing: As sand grains shuffle down the slopes of certain sand dunes, they produce a deep, groaning hum that reverberates for miles.

What the hell, if it's so dangerous, why you go?

Ok, there are snakes, sometimes the wind blow quite strong, it's damn hot during the day and damn cold during the night and it's incredibly dry. So why do we go there? This temperature range create the condition for good thermals… and however let me tell all the story: there are roads in the desert, no many, but The Tarim Desert Highway across the Taklamakan desert, in China, links the cities of Luntai and Minfeng on the northern and southern edges of the Tarim basin. The total length of the highway is 552 km, of which approximately 446 km is built across uninhabited areas covered by shifting sand dunes, 20 meters tall, that frequently bury the highway. There are even 2 roads which cut the desert from north to south. So we will fly along the roads.
And then... this desert is incredibly beautiful.




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