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Deserts of the World

Click on each clue for its answer.

  1. It is the world's largest hot desert and is almost as large as the United States, and is larger than Australia.


  2. Meaning 'Black Sand', it is a desert in Central Asia and occupies about 70 percent, or 350,000 km², of the area of Turkmenistan. The desert is crossed by the largest irrigation canal in the world, the Qaraqum Canal.

    Karakum Desert

  3. A 360,000 square kilometers (141,000 mi²) expanse in northwestern Australia. It forms part of a larger desert area known as the Western Desert.

    Great Sandy Desert

  4. Also known as the Syro-Arabian desert, is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in parts of the nations of Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. Many oases exist in this desert such as Palmyra. The desert was historically inhabited by bedouin tribes, and many tribes still remain in the region.

    Syrian Desert

  5. A desert that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border. It is the third largest desert entirely within the Western Hemisphere and second largest in North America, after the Great Basin Desert. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, it may be the most biologically diverse desert in the world, whether measured on species richness or endemism, although the region has been heavily degraded over time.

    Chihuahuan Desert

  6. Sometimes called the Gila Desert, it is a North American desert which straddles part of the United States-Mexico border and covers large parts of the U.S. states of Arizona and California. The largest city in the desert is Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

    Sonoran Desert

  7. It is the largest desert in the Americas and is the 5th largest desert in the world by area, occupying 260,000 square miles (673,000 km²). It is the largest continental landmass south of the 40° parallel and is a large cold winter desert where the temperature rarely exceeds 12°C and averages just 7°C.


  8. It is a desert of Central Asia, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. The key oasis towns are Kashgar, Yarkand, and Khotan (Hetian) in the South-West, Kuqa and Turfan in the North, and Loulan and Dunhuang in the East. It is known as the largest sandy desert in the world.

    Taklamakan Desert

  9. Though you wouldn't expect this in the list of deserts, since there is little precipitation except at the coasts, the interior of this land mass is technically the largest desert in the world. Oh, and there is no evidence of any existing or pre-historic indigenous population.


  10. A desert in Namibia which forms part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park one of Africa's largest. The area is considered to be the oldest desert in the world, having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for at least 80 million years.

    Namib Desert

  11. It is a desert located in western India and southeastern Pakistan.

    Thar Desert

  12. A Western Australian desert where the only inhabitants of the area are Indigenous Australians. The desert lies between Lake Disappointment and Lake Macdonald along the Tropic of Capricorn. Named after Alfred ___ who perished while attempting to cross it during an expedition in 1874.

    Gibson Desert

  13. It is a large desert lying in the middle of the Iranian Plateau.

    Dasht-e Kavir

  14. It is the 11th largest desert in the world. Its name means red sand in both Uzbek and Kazakh. It is located in Central Asia and is divided between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and (partly) Turkmenistan.

    Kyzyl Kum

  15. Locally referred to as the High Desert, occupies a significant portion of southern California and smaller parts of southwestern Utah, southern Nevada, and northwestern Arizona, in the United States. Named after the a tribe of Native Americans. Is also known for its scenic beauty, with four national parks - Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Zion and Grand Canyon all within the desert or adjoining it.

    Mojave Desert

  16. It is a vast desert wilderness stretching from Yemen to the Persian Gulf and Oman to Jordan and Iraq. At its center is the Rub'al-Khali, one of the largest continuous bodies of sand in the world.

    Arabian Desert

  17. Covers much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa, as semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains. The only permanent river, the Okavango, flows into a delta in the northwest, forming marshes that are rich in wildlife.

    Kalahari Desert

  18. A virtually rainless plateau in South America, extending 966 km (600 mi) between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It is the driest place on Earth, and is virtually sterile because it is blocked from moisture on both sides by the Andes mountains and by coastal mountains. Has the world's largest natural supply of sodium nitrate, which was mined on a large scale until the early 1940s and was a source of a border dispute between Chile and Bolivia began in the 1800s.

    Atacama Desert

  19. Sparsely populated desert ecoregion in southern Australia that falls inside the states of South Australia and Western Australia. In 1875, British explorer Ernest Giles became the first European to cross the desert and he named the desert after the then-reigning British monarch. The Nullarbor Plain to the south separates it from the Southern Ocean.

    Great Victoria

  20. Asia's largest desert that is bounded by the Altay Mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia on the north, by the Tibetan Plateau to the southwest, and by the North China Plain to the southeast. Means gravel-covered plain.


  21. A large, arid region of the western United States. In 1986, the a National Park was established here by the Federal Government, encompassing 122 square miles of land in Nevada, near the Utah border.

    Great Basin

  22. It is in central Australia and beneath it lies the Great Artesian Basin, waters from which rise to the surface both at several natural springs and artificial bores. Contains the world's longest parallel sand dunes, running north-south.

    Simpson Desert