Charsky Sands: the most amazing desert on Earth

(ORDO NEWS) — In the north of the Trans-Baikal Territory, in the middle of the Charskaya Valley, there is a real desert surrounded by mountains.

An array of moving sands with an area of ‚Äč‚Äčabout 50 square kilometers (under another estimate of 30) outwardly resembles a desert in Central Asia and looks strange against the backdrop of high mountains, surrounded by larch taiga and swamps.

According to those who have been here, this place, although not so great, impresses with its contrast between the sand dunes and the peaks of the Kodar Range, no less than the endless sands of the Sahara Desert.

This is a real desert in which the dunes reach 20-25 meters. Here you can find the remains of trees that died under the onslaught of the sandy massif, as well as creeping grass. Those who are familiar with the deserts involuntarily have the feeling that a caravan of camels is about to appear on the horizon or a scorpion will jump out from under their feet.

Despite the small size of the “toy” desert, there were times when travelers got lost here, but in the end they got out safe and sound. Usually this was due to low clouds, which hid the mountains, which serve as a guide for travelers.

Charsky sands have been assigned the status of a natural geological monument. Some researchers still cannot understand how this real miracle of nature arose in the middle of the taiga and swamps. However, scientists still have an explanation.

Approximately 45 thousand years ago, when a cold snap occurred on Earth, a huge glacier slid from the Kodar peaks straight into the Chara valley. A gigantic bowl appeared, which melted over thousands of years and filled the entire Chara depression. The size of the reservoir was about 60 kilometers, and the depth was about 250 meters.

Glaciers sliding down the mountains filled the lake with millions of tons of sand and clay. The ancient reservoir existed for about 3 thousand years, during which it accumulated a huge amount of precipitation. At the end of the ice age, the entire reservoir has flowed out, and bottom sediments were on the surface. After many thousands of years, under the influence of the atmosphere, this place has acquired the appearance of a sandy desert.


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