Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Driest Place on Earth in Full Bloom

Photograph by Mario Ruiz
atacama desert covered in pink flowers Picture of the Day: The Driest Place on Earth in Full Bloom

Last year, Chile’s Atacama Desert—the driest non-polar area in the world—received record rainfalls thank to El Niño. According to the Washington Post, heavy thunderstorms last March brought 0.96 inches of rain in a single day. While that may not sound like much, for the Atacama, it was the equivalent to 14 years of rainfall in a single day! Additional rains in August led to an incredible bloom of pink-tone mallow flowers (also known as malva) in October (which is Spring in Chile), covering the desert floor. The rare phenomenon only occurs once every 5-7 years and 2015 was reportedly the most impressive bloom in nearly two decades. You can see many more photos of the amazing event on the Washington Post.