When we hear the word «desert«, The most normal thing is to think of an immense arid plain in the middle of Sahara. It is the image that comes to mind inadvertently, since it is in North Africa where we find the most deserts. Of course, the largest in the world are not there, but in Antarctica and the Arctic, but instead of great dunes what we find are huge blocks of ice.
Everyone talks about the biggest, but ... what about the smallest? The one with the least extension is in Canada and is called Carcross, and despite not being very famous, it is a place worth exploring.
Canada's improper nature
Those who travel in search of nature setting foot in Canada usually move to the northeast, which is where there are large lakes, glaciers, rivers and mountains that flirt with the sky. You even have the possibility to visit the Yukon territory, which is one of the last sites to remain true to the wildest North America.
That pilgrimage in search of natural jewels can take you to Carcross, which is the smallest desert in the world according to the Guinness Book with its 260 hectares (2.6 square kilometers) in length. It is surprising that so close to Lake Bennet, with the mountains in the background and at a distance of no more than half a thousand kilometers from Alaska, there can be a desert of fine sand and dunes, with vegetation more typical of the Arabian desert than the north. from Canada.
Everything has an explanation
Although for many years no one knew how to respond to the existence of this desert, the scientists they have been able to give an explanation consistent enough that it has been accepted by everyone.
It turns out that its creation took place more than 10,000 years ago, when that area was nothing more than a glacier. The high temperatures melted it and that caused the lakes that we see today to form.
In these lakes accumulated sediments They ended up floating when the water dried up, and these sediments became the expanse of sand in the form of dunes that you can see in the photographs that illustrate this article.
From sandboard to snowboard!
If you ever have the opportunity to visit it, you will see that a wooden sign reading "Carcross Desert" welcomes you. There you can practice sandboarding in summer, while in winter the snowboard and the cross country ski they are the protagonists. Curious, right?
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Carcross - the world's smallest desert (December 2020)