The Atacama Desert in Chile is considered the driest place on planet Earth. Now, it has gained color and life, in a phenomenon that, as a rule, occurs at intervals of 5 to 7 years known as “El Niño”. We talk about the Atacama, where the dunes gave way to flowers.
“Desierto florido”, this is the name that Chileans and tourists give to this phenomenon that occurs exclusively in the Atacama Desert, the most arid place on planet Earth excluding of course, the poles. It is also this place where usually less than 12 millimeters of rain fall per year.
This phenomenon occurs when large amounts of sudden rain enter the dry desert soil and awaken the seeds of more than 200 species of plants that can be found there, which remain years in a state of dormancy. What follows is the proliferation of life such as insects, birds and even some species of lizards. But the good lasts a little because very briefly, the dry dunes will once again occupy the landscape.
This event is rare and is almost always associated with the “El Niño” climatic phenomenon, an irregularly periodic variation of the winds and surface temperatures of the Pacific Ocean and affecting much of the tropics and subtropics. “El Niño” is unpredictable and responsible for a large number of floods, usually associated with sudden torrential rains and extreme and severe droughts, with negative consequences on agriculture and livestock production in the affected areas, always estimated at billions of dollars. Still, it usually occurs at intervals of 5 to 7 years.
Whenever “El Niño” occurs and carries dense and charged clouds into the Atacama desert, life awakens in one of the most hostile places in the world and this year the phenomenon has occurred earlier and the dunes have already been replaced by flowers.