Types of Deserts: 15 Largest Deserts In The World


The largest deserts exist in every continent in the world, but let’s talk about the 10 biggest of them all. Well, a desert is a landscape or a region that receives very little precipitation. Some people think that a desert is a place entirely covered by sand, but actually, there are 4 types of deserts. Those 4 are Cold Winter Deserts, Cool Coastal Deserts, Polar Deserts, and Subtropical Deserts. There is one best-known desert in the world, the Sahara desert. However, the largest desert is located somewhere else actually. So let’s explore and see what those deserts are.

1Antarctic Desert

Type: Polar Desert
Location: Antarctica
Surface Area: 14,000,000 sq-km

2Arctic Desert

Type: Polar Desert
Location: Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia
Surface Area: 13,985,000 sq-km

3Sahara Desert

Type: Subtropical
Location: Northern Africa
Surface Area: 9,000,000 sq-km

4Arabian Desert

Type: Subtropical
Location: Arabian Peninsula
Surface Area: 2,330,000 sq-km

5Gobi Desert

Type: Cold Winter
Location: China and Mongolia
Surface Area: 1,000,000 sq-km

6Kalahari Desert

image: Max Pixel

Type: Subtropical
Location: South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia
Surface Area: 900,000 sq-km

7Great Victoria Desert

Type: Subtropical
Location: Australia
Surface Area: 647,000 sq-km

8Patagonian Desert

Type: Cold Winter
Location: Argentina
Surface Area: 620,000 sq-km

9Syrian Desert

Type: Subtropical
Location: Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia
Surface Area: 520,000 sq-km

10Great Basin Desert

Type: Cold Winter
Location: United States
Surface Area: 492,000 sq-km

11Chihuahuan Desert

Type: Subtropical
Location: Mexico
Surface Area: 450,000 sq-km

12Great Sandy Desert

image: yaruman5

Type: Subtropical
Location: Australia
Surface Area: 400,000 sq-km

13Kara-Kum Desert

Type: Cold Winter
Location: Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan
Surface Area: 350,000 sq-km

14Colorado Plateau Desert

image: pxhere

Type: Cold Winter
Location: Cold Winter
Surface Area: 337,000 sq-km

15Gibson Desert

image: Pinterest

Type: Subtropical
Location: Australia
Surface Area: 156,000 sq-km

Types of Deserts

  • Cold Winter Desert: has hot summers but extremely cold winters with snowfall and large rainfalls. These deserts are found in high, flat areas, called plateaus, or mountainous areas in temperate regions of the world.
  • Cool Coastal Desert: occurs in cool to warm areas along the coast. They have cool winters and long, warm summers.
  • Polar Desert: is a category of cold deserts whose precipitation occasionally occurs in form of snow due to the limited moisture in the air and is localized to the polar regions of the Earth. These deserts are situated in the polar regions of the northern and southern hemispheres. They cover a significantly large portion of the total world’s deserts.
  • Subtropical Desert: is the hottest desert. They are found in Asia, Australia, Africa, and North and South America. Subtropical deserts are very hot and dry in the summer and cooler but still dry in the winter. Rainfall happens in short bursts. The air is so hot and dry in these deserts that sometimes rain evaporates before it even has a chance to hit the ground. The soil in subtropical deserts is usually either sandy or coarse and rocky.

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