Deserts Facts for Kids – 5 Delightful Facts about Deserts

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Do you think that all deserts are hot? Today we are going to learn five delightful deserts facts for kids.

Deserts Facts for Kids Fact Number 1: Not all Deserts Are Hot

What makes a desert a desert is how much precipitation that area gets. Precipitation can be rain, hail, or snow. It is just moisture that falls from clouds. So, the two biggest deserts in the world are the arctic and the Antarctic which are both very cold. A desert is a place that gets less than 10 inches of precipitation a year, and some places are too cold or too hot for a lot of rain so they are classed as deserts.

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Antarctic region Penguins on Ice

Deserts Facts for Kids Fact number 2: A Desert in Chile Had no Rain for 400 Years

In the Atacama desert in Chile they have the most dry place on earth. In the town of Calama there was no rain from 1570 to 1971, that’s 401 years with no rain at all. People still live there today and scientists who observe the weather keep track of how much rain they get. In the Atacama desert there are weather stations that have never recorded any rain.

Deserts Facts for Kids Fact number 3: Water can Come Up From Under The Ground to Create an Oasis

Rain does fall in the desert sometimes but it is not very often, sometimes in the desert it is so hot that rain falls out of the clouds and evaporates before hitting the ground. These events are called phantom rain. In hot deserts this water often sinks below the sands. When strong desert winds happen they can reveal stores of water that fell in rain a long time ago. Some of that water fell as rain as long as 20,000 years before the oasis was uncovered.

Oases are very helpful to people, animals, and insects that live in the desert as they are a place where they can come to eat and they can be used as a water source to grow food.

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The Huacachina lake, a Peruvian oasis in the middle of the desert

Deserts Facts for Kids Fact number 4: Cacti are designed to help them survive in deserts

The desert is a very severe type of ecosystem which makes it hard to survive for anyone even if people still live in deserts. Plants and animals often adapt to make sure they can thrive in harsh environments.

The cactus is a great example of this. Cacti have very fleshy stems which are perfect for storing water. This means they can store enough water to last until the next time it rains. They have lots of widespread roots which helps them collect water around them. They also have waxy skin that reflects sunlight, this means the heat from the sun is bounced off them instead of being absorbed. They also have spikes, this prevents them being eaten by animals for the water they store up.

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Deserts Facts for Kids: A green cactus plant

Deserts Facts for Kids Fact number 5: Sand dunes in the desert are super tall

Sand dunes are very tall mountains of sand and are caused when desert winds push the sand up into piles. The dunes build up on the side the wind is pushing from and take on the shape of a wave. They can grow to a massive size. In the Issaouane Erg Sand Sea in the Sahara desert there are sand dunes that are 450 metres tall. That is almost five times taller than the Statue of Liberty.

Deserts Facts for Kids
Photo of sand dunes

We hope you enjoyed learning more things about deserts as much as we loved teaching you about them. Now that you know how majestic these deserts are, you can move on to learn about other climate and weather stuff like: Thunder, Thunderstorms, Thunder and Lightning, Rainbows, Lightning, Floods, Earth’s Atmosphere, Hurricanes, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Blizzard, Wind and Tsunamis.

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