The driest place on Earth
There is a perception that the Atacama desert is the driest place on the planet. However, located in Chile, the terrain, yields the palm to the Dry Valleys. The three «Victoria», «Wright» and «Taylor» and they are in the Antarctic. You can find them if you follow the mainland, taking as starting point the Ross sea.
Here it is subjected to incredible forces of wind, the speed is able to reach three hundred and twenty kilometers per hour, and call them katabatic. They were the reason for increased evaporation life-giving water. Hard to imagine, but for 8 000 000 years, these places do not know snow or ice. It is believed that in some areas there was not a drop of rain for two million years.
The nature here is wonderful, at times, here the temperature rises to zero degrees and then only moisture that is there (it is here in the form of frozen salt lakes) and the area thaws finds the deceptive appearance of a tropical resort. Lovers of underwater walking even manage to do the diving. Rumor has it that at the bottom of the largest local lakes can be found the mummified corpse of a seal. It remains a mystery how the animal hobbled over to the coast.
In the valley, you could see the mummified bodies of seals, it is unclear what prompted these animals to get here and find death. It is possible that the remains are in here more hundreds, if not thousands of years. Cold dry air helps slow decomposition. There is speculation that the seals be affected by the loss of orientation due to lesions of the Central nervous system. When they reached these places, they just have no strength left, and so they remained lying here, unable to return. This is probably the only representatives of the local fauna – if the bacteria in this climate, does not contribute to reproduction, are in trouble, what can we say about more complex organisms.
It is believed, first proposed by ichthyologist, who spent most of his life in Chukotka, according to which the frozen sea made of walrus in search of any pond to go by land. So they were able to overcome a few tens of kilometers. The difference between seals and walruses obvious, but it is possible that both of them moved one goal.
The absence of life, local climate make this area the best for testing the Mars Rover that can successfully use the astrophysics of the United States. Scientists claim that the driest place on earth according to all the data is almost identical to the situation that prevails on the planet Mars. That is why there were tested the Viking. This spacecraft was specifically designed to further study the surface of the red planet.
Three valleys, form the driest place on earth cover an area of 4 800 km2. The average level in the temperature scale is kept at around -50° C, and a third year here reigns polar night.
This is a unique place owes its existence to the Transantarctic mountains – they protect the Valley from the continental ice, approaching these places from the South. Snow to seep from the tops of mountains prevents dry Antarctic wind — it literally sweeps the Packed snow drifts.
Here is unlikely to ever be able to get a regular tourist. This is for several reasons:
- the need to go more than 50 km through the snow – if you succeed on a chartered ship to sail to the coast of the Ross;
- the inability to fly on a private jet without refueling to most dry places on earth.
The only people here you can meet polar scientists. Yellow tents which you can see in the photo above, their refuge.
Do not worry, the inability to visit the dry valleys of Antarctica in the vicinity, a few hundred kilometers, there is a very interesting place – the pole of inaccessibility. This is a difficult point on the planet. In addition, you can look at the polar station. It has long been abandoned, but it still is a bust of great leader. I. Lenin. More than half a century has passed since its opening. Having existed for a few weeks it closed, the reason was absolutely ridiculous. But the fact of the stay of Soviet polar explorers in this unique place was recorded.
Eight years ago three natives of England were able to reach the pole of inaccessibility, but also to do a selfie with a bust of the leader. They made the trip to the destination on foot, they had to use the power kites.
The terrain is sandy, looking at the photo it is noticeable that he is frozen like concrete. Permafrost is characteristic mesh pattern – between the grains are crystals of frozen moisture. In those places where the liquid a little more live algae-endolite. Small cracks inside the rocks at a depth of several microns inhabit these single-celled organisms that are necessary for the existence of only photosynthesis – a little bit of sunlight, atmospheric carbon dioxide, trace elements and water vapor congenerous: so primitive but organic. And if it is, it means that there may be fungi and bacteria. Here you can find and even moss, but the calculation can not take it – it is deeply conserved and is waiting for the global warming.
In each of the three valleys are encased in a block of ice lakes, the most notable of them is «Wanda». The depth of the reservoir is more than 60 metres, and on top of his covers ice crust with a thickness of four meters. Scientists suggest that the ice performs the function of the greenhouse, under which water, warm polar day can warm up to 25 °C above zero. So it is possible that there has been on any the laws of any foreign microorganisms.