See places in Asia

Singing sand dune

Scientist Ralph Bagnold told that during his stay in the desert suddenly heard lasting for a few minutes the sound of low intensity, so piercing, that human speech drowned. This sound usually appeared in the quiet evenings following a windy day.

It was not a sound nor carried by animals or by humans or some extraordinary machine. He came from the dunes, which sang. It is known that the sands of the southern Sahara desert of Takla Makan and central Asia and in the Rub al-Chali in Saudi Arabia appear to these strange and often frightening sounds.

Sand is composed of quartz particles. When the sand has the same size are set in motion by the wind or by passing an animal, they start small waves roll through the slopes of the dunes, like oil on glass. Sometimes during the rolling sand can be heard vibrating groan, which turns into a rumble, dying when the waves of sand, motionless.

It seems that temperature plays an important role in the process of singing – the more heated is the top layer of sand, the louder sounds.


Takla Makan Desert

Takla Makan is a large, dry, sandy desert in western China. Pyramid-like sand dunes rise over 300 meters here the surrounding plain, and the violent storms can lift three times higher wall of sand. Takla Makan is about the size of New Zealand. Living in this area people have always considered her a dangerous place. Takla Makan name means go, and no longer go out.

On the eastern edge of the desert lies the great trough, called the Turpan Depression (154 m ppm). It is one of the hottest and lowest places on Earth. There is almost no rainfall and temperatures for weeks can be within the range of 40 ° C.

Near the oasis of Turpan, are the ruins of cities, founded around 200 BC. Those of the city lay on the famous Silk Road with a length of 6400 km, which until the fifteenth-century merchants traveling between the Mediterranean and China.


It is surrounded by the highest mountain ranges of the world, including Kunlun, Karakoram, Tienszan of altitude peaks over 7000 m above sea level (Eg, Pik Pobedy). Along the northern edge of the desert Tarym river flows, and the northeast’s (separated by a small mountain range Kuruktag) Turfanska Basin, which is the second-lowest point in Asia (154 m ppm).


Clarification of the origin of the name of the desert for unknown reasons, it became the subject of a variety of fantasy, especially from journalists, claiming that based on the information a tourist guide or “a Chinese scholar.” Meanwhile, it is quite simple (most recently, although it’s more than 10 years ago, on this subject – see. P. 447 in Jarring, G.: Central Asian Turkic Place-Names. Lop Nor and Tarim Area, Stockholm, 1997). This name comes from the Uighurs living in the area who are very strongly reducing the consonant-r at the end of the word – in other languages ​​turkijskich the first word of the name would sound tackler, and the Uighur is just Takla (plural of that) and it means’ bows (Architectural ) ‘(the variant form of the name of the desert, Taklimakan clearly indicates its Uighur descent, because the change in vowel-a-in-and-in this position is for a typical Uighur language). The second word Makan means ‘place’ (both as and Makan are ultimately words of Arabic origin). In total, the name of the desert to be understood as ‘a place arches’, because the local people noticed that there winds blowing from time to time odsypują sand so that it emerges from under the remains of ancient buildings, especially the fragments of arches to the nature of things stick out more than others preserved remains of the walls. However, any explanation of the importance of names Takla Makan ~ Taklimakan a ‘place of death’ or ‘go and not come out’ are completely nieetymologicznymi inventions, that conflict with knowledge of the Uighur language and etymology.


Takla Makan is the largest sandy desert of the world, with an area equal to 270 thousand.


Continental climate of moderately warm, extremely dry (average annual rainfall does not exceed 100 mm.) Strong winds and sandstorms.


Numerous short rivers (eg, Karak-Darya, Kerija, Czerczen Darya) flowing from the surrounding desert mountains penetrate up to 200 km and the “lost” water Takla Makan in the sands. Flows along the northern edge of the largest river in the desert – Tarym.

Dead Sea

Country: Israel, Jordan, Palestine
Area: 1027 km ²
Dimensions: 75.95 x 4,5-16
Depth: 400 m
Volume: 111 km ³
Mirror height: -418 m above sea-level
Salinity: average of 280 ‰
River Power: Jordan
Rivers flowing: outflow

The Dead Sea is the lowest and most saline lake on Earth. Its area is 392 m ppm and 398 m bottom even lower. Ordinary seawater contains about 3.5% salt. The Dead Sea is her seven times as much.

The Dead Sea is part of the Jordan Rift tectonic and is like a vast basin into which water flows. Here the temperature is so high that almost all the water flowing into the lake from the Jordan River dries up, leaving even more salt.

Water is dark blue, is very calm and so saline that it is impossible to drown in it or swim. When immersed one hand, the other would rise to the surface. If you want to immerse yourself, we have gradually bend, until, when we lie flat.

History and nomenclature

About 17,000 years ago the Dead Sea water level was so high that it was connected to the north of Lake Tiberias.

Over the centuries, adhered to a different name: stinking sea, The Devil’s Sea, or Lake Asphalt. In the Bible it is called Sea and Sea Salt Araby. According to tradition, deep in the bottom lie the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah. Therefore, it is also known as the Sea or Sea of ​​Lot of Sodom – described in the Bible, witness the tragic events connected with these cities. Near the Dead Sea is the ancient fortress of Masada and the place to find scrolls from Qumran.

Unusual concentration of salt makes the surface easy to float the people who can not swim. The Roman commander, Vespasian, in order to check this phenomenon, he had to throw water captives.


Surface of the water is at the lowest point of the Earth, 418 m ppm (And still declining). Surface of the lake is 1020 km ² and a maximum depth – 399 m. The lake has very high salinity – an average of 28%. On the surface salinity is about 22%, and at a depth of 50 m – 36%.

The length of the lake stretching meridionally is 76 km and width 4,5-16 km. The coastline is fairly uniform, with the exception of Lisan Peninsula (language) that divides the Dead Sea on the northern part of the deeper and shallower southern (about 6 m deep).

Because the sea is so low-lying, water flows from it is not. In the twentieth century the amount of water flowing into the Dead Sea has decreased due to the use of the waters of the Jordan by Israel and Jordan, as well as climate change. Evaporation causes significant lowering of water table and precipitation of salt deposits. On a hot day evaporates as many as seven million tonnes – this explains why the sea is not extended. But unlike water, which evaporates, salts and other minerals remain. Therefore, it is the most salty water reservoir on Earth.

In connection with such high salinity in the Dead Sea has almost no organic life, but with water producing significant quantities of salt and potassium (resources estimated at 43 billion tons).

Are also used in the therapeutic effects of water and mud sediments. In ancient times, were encouraged to drink water in the belief that it has healing properties. Today it is not recommended, it is believed, however, that the salt water cleanses the body. Are known while the other properties in this region. In this low-lying area (the lowest depression of the world, more than 400m ppm) of air is up to 10% richer in oxygen and micronutrients. Atmospheric pressure reaches 800 mm Hg and is the highest in the world. Additionally, it is saturated bromkami. In addition, mineral-rich black mud and sulphurous hot springs found along the coast are used to treat skin diseases and arthritis. Over the years, also valued beauty and healing properties of balsam obtained from trees that once grew here. Very good results treating the chronically ill get there for asthma and allergies. Particularly good results are achieved in the healed and alleviate psoriasis and eczema treatment of a broad spectrum of skin. Unfortunately, due to difficult geological conditions in the area are only a few built resort and a few isolated beaches accessible to the public. Most of the shoreline is not available, and the so-called walking. wild beaches is risky and dangerous in connection with a number of faults occurring on the surface przysłoniętymi thin layer of sand (there are known numerous cases of disappearances of people walking around in places forbidden.)

Fauna and flora

Medieval travelers brought news of many sterile sea, completely devoid of birds, fish and vegetation. Even thought that hovering over the fumes are deadly. In this way, spread rumors about a dead, stinking sea. It is true that because of high salinity live there are some forms of bacteria, and each fish, which unfortunately gets a downstream quickly dies.

In the sea there is no favorable conditions for life, but otherwise is in adjacent areas. Although a large part of them is desert, you can find an oasis with waterfalls and tropical plants. This region is also a lot of wild animals. There are there 24 species of mammals, including the wolf, the cat Arabic and Nubian ibex. Sources of fresh water, allow to live many amphibians, reptiles and fish. The Dead Sea lies on the main migration route of birds, they counted over 90 species. These include black stork and white, griffon vulture and Egyptian vulture white.


One of the most intriguing phenomena of the Dead Sea is the extraction of bitumen (asphalt), which lumps appear on the surface. In 1905, the journal of The Biblical World mentions the huge block weighing approximately 2 700 kilograms, which was found on the shore in 1834. Some thought that the asphalt breaks away from the sea floor and flows to the surface due to earthquakes. More likely is that the asphalt comes out of the depths of the earth through cracks or structures called diapirami. When it reaches the bottom of the sea and freed from salt springs to the surface.