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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.



Next to polar in the Antarctic penguins lived tropical ibises and European starlings, it must be a Macquarie Island birds.

Number of bird species recorded on the island dates back hundreds. But these nesting is much less. Species because they do not quantified. Penguin is about 850 thousand. King penguins – about a hundred thousand.

The island in July 1810 was discovered by Frederick Hasselborough British sailor, looking for new places where one could hunt seals. He named the island after the name of his boss, Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, and joined to the UK. And that seal was a lot, right on the island came to hunters. When in 1820 the Russian landed on the island of Germany’s Fabian Bellingshausen, as both seals and penguins were nearly exterminated. Bellingshausen examined the island, described exactly the situation and drew up a map. Throughout the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth island was an important center for the hunting of penguins and elephant seals.

Boats moored on Hastings River and the coastal town of Port Macquarie.

Macquarie is a small, 128 square kilometers. It has a very elongated shape, long and 42 wide and 5 km. Nearby are two groups of islets, Judge and Clerk (0.2 sq km) 14 miles north, and Bishop and Clerk (0.6 sq km) 33 miles south. The two archipelagos are similar environment and belong to the reserve. For some time the maps south of the Macquarie was still an island, Emerald. In 1821 was described with a precise map indicating the position by the crew of the ship “Emerald”, who christened her as his unit. But subsequent expeditions in this place only see the ocean.

Island, although narrow, is quite high. It is constructed from two terraces with a height of 150-200 meters connected to the lower passage. On the northern plateau, the highest point is Mt Elder (385 m) and the southern Mt Hamilton and Mt Fletcher (after 410 m). The island is the highest point of the undersea Macquarie Ridge, which runs along the junction of two plates of the lithosphere, the Indo-Australian and Pacific.

The island lies in a seismic zone. In recent years, there was some severe shock (23 December 2004 recorded 8.1 on the Richter scale – one of the strongest tremors in the earth), but because of the lack of buildings (with the exception of a scientific station), the losses were minimal. Recall that the tragic earthquake in China’s Tangshan in 1976, when he died nearly a quarter of a million people, had the power of 8.2 degree …

Weather on the island, as befits the Antarctic zone, to not be pleasant. The whole year is cold (3.2 degree in the winter and 7 degrees in the summer. Feeling cold winds intensify, the Howling, after all, fifty (Furious Fifties in English, the zone between 50 and 60 parallel of south latitude), perhaps the strongest winds zone on earth. In this zone, among others, are shrouded in the notorious Cape Horn and Strait of Drake `a.

Flora of the island is scarce. This treeless tundra. Under such conditions, especially due to the hurricane-force winds, not to continue any tree. Only a few species of shrubs is doing something, but they are twisted and bent to the ground. But temperature does not drop below zero too, is the ubiquitous influence of the ocean. Seasons practically do not exist; temperature differences are minimal, after all.

Mammals represent subantarktyczna fur seals (Arctocephalus tropicalis) fur seals antarctic (Arctocephalus Gazella), Kotik New Zealand (Arctocephalus forsteri), southern sea elephant (Mirounga leonina), in an ocean of many cetacean species, but also “familiar” rabbits, cats, mice and rats. Rabbits were brought as food for the hunters of seals and penguins. In the seventies there were 130,000, a per hectare. Did enormous damage, zgryzając vegetation and destroying the nest. Digging holes, causing landslides, destroying entire colonies of birds. When brought to the island myksomatozy virus, the disease has virtually decimated the population to about 10,000. But when in 2005, knocked out all the cats, the number of rabbits jumped again, to hundred thousand.

Rats and mice are stowaways from numerous catching vessels. They also proliferated beyond measure, especially in giving the characters a hunter, wyżerając them food, but also birds, which wyjadały eggs and killing chicks. To combat them brought cats. These, however, instead of the rodents, they preferred to hunt birds. Cats annually kill 60 thousand. birds and kept in check the population of rabbits. Ultimately, the island has no right to be a single rabbit, rat and mouse. Because cats in 2000, managed to knock out. The number of birds began to grow. Number of rabbits, mice and rats – growing at a frightening pace. $ 24 million at the expense of the other four-legged Australian unwanted visitors in May to disappear by 2014.

Among birds, penguins dominate. Krótkoczubych penguins (Eudyptes schlegeli) is 850000, king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) one hundred thousand (the third largest colony in the world), also rock penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) białobrewy penguin (Pygoscelis papua).

Wandering albatross nest here (Diomedea exulans – just a few pairs), czarnobrewy albatross (Diomedea melanophris) szarogłowy albatross (Thalassarche Chrysostome) and albatross  (Phoebetria palpebrata – two thousand pairs). For the eight species of Petre, three species of gulls, gray shearwater, idiot Australian, endemic subspecies of blue-eyed cormorants (Phalacrocorax atriceps purpurascens), an endemic species of parrots (Cyanoramphus erythrocytes). To make things even stranger, it’ll also assume jack our starling and redpoll honest. What are they doing here? Were introduced into Australia and New Zealand, and winds up zagnały them here.

And among the arriving accidentally get even tropical species, among others. herons, ibises and ducks, backed into the wind here in Australia.

The first two species of penguins were fiercely repressed in the past. Smelted from them fat. But I survived. Not so lucky were endemic parrot (Cyanoramphus erythrotis) and the endemic subspecies białobrewego anhydride (Gallirallus macquariensis philippensis). Extinct, exterminated by cats.

Macquarie is protected twice, once as a reserve, two, by typing on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Milford Fiord

Milford Fiord on the South Island of New Zealand bursts at 20 km inland. It is a charming place full of steep cliffs, sloping valleys, waterfalls, lush forests and shimmering rainbows. The area is very wet, every three days, there is one or two of rain.

Once a day has dropped 560 mm of rain here. Severe rain thundering waterfalls form, which burst in more than 300 m into the bay.

Cliffs surrounding the bay are the highest in the world. Rise to a height of 1584 m above the water surface, and some submerged under water reaches 400 m. The fjord was carved Milford 20 thousand. years ago, during the last Ice Age, the glacier flowed toward the sea. Like most of the fjords, it is shallow in the place where contact with the sea, and at the opposite end of the deep.

Milford Bay – bay on the South Island of New Zealand. Due to the geological characteristics (20 miles long and high steep banks) resembles a typical fjord.


It is part of the Fiordland region of the southern part of the South Island, 260 kilometers northwest of the city of Dunedin. Fiordland National Park is New Zealand which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Facing the entrance, deep in the middle. Was formed during the last ice age by a glacier, which is flowing into the sea, has cut a deep ditch. After the withdrawal of water flooded the valley glacier Tasman Sea.

This is one of the attractions of the country. Milford Bay is characterized by a unique composition of flora and fauna. Adjacent salt and sweet water create an environment that is in parts of the lake and the ocean.

As part of the bay called Sandfly Point trail ends in the most famous New Zealand – Milford Track.

Characteristic point, which is an icon of the bay is up Mitre Peak.


Milford Bay is one of the most rainy places on Earth. Only every third day is rainless. Annual rainfall is 615 centimeters, and the water coming from them for lying falls cascades over 300 feet below the tank. At the entrance to the bay is a mountain of Mitre Peak (1695 m).


Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Glowworm – cave situated in the North Island of New Zealand. Located in the southern part of the Waikato region, 12 km southwest of Te Kuiti. The cave is known populations occurring there, “glowing worms.” These pupae flies Arachnocampa Luminosa. Larval tail emits light, which allows her to lure victims. She lives in a fancy spider web, from which hang over the water sticky threads. Flies, attracted by the light, become entangled in the network, and then the glowing worms devour them.

Walking along the corridor, sparking with stalactites and stalagmites, we come to the underground lake in a large cavern. Hence the boat to take us to the heart of the cave, where no artificial lighting is used. When your eyes get used to the darkness now, we see more and more dots of light, until finally it seems that the whole cave glows. It is so clear that you can read the time on your watch.

The cave belongs to the system of caves Waitomo Caves. Waitomo Caves The caves also includes Ruakuri and Aranuri. The complex is located about 2 hours way from Auckland, 1 hour route from Hamilton and 2 hours way from Rotorua.


Lake Eyre

Lake Eyre in South Australia state is actually two lakes. Larger Eyre North is about 120 kilometers and a width of 70 km. It is the largest lake in Australia. Lower Eyre South is a length of 50 km and a width of 30 km. Lakes are connected by a narrow channel Goyder.

The size of the surface of Lake Eyre varies quite considerably – from 8030 to 15 thousand. km ², but its average area puts them on the 19th place among the largest lakes in the world. It is also situated the lowest among the 23 largest lakes in the world – lies 12 m below sea level.

Strange thing is that the lake rarely fills with water. Precipitation in this part of Australia do not reach up to 127 mm per year. For most of the year, the lake forms a swampy plain, covered with salt deposits of up to 20 cm. It is believed that the lake fills completely with water twice a century.

Lake Eyre in those infrequent cases when he is filled with water is the largest lake in Australia. It is also the lowest place in Australia (in the depression 15 meters below sea level). At maximum filling an area of ​​about 9.5 thousand. km ².

Lake is located in the desert in central Australia, in the northern part of South Australia. It is located in the Great Basin, artesian, right in the center of a large pool endoreicznego, lake bottom is covered with a characteristic of these systems with a layer of salt. Even in the dry season the lake is a little bit of water, usually in the form of small lakes and large pool of dried bed covering. During the rainy season, the lake is fed by the waters of rivers flowing from north Queensland (Cooper Creek and Warburton). The amount of water in the lake depends also on local rainfall. Small floods (the lake level rise of 1.5 m) occur roughly every three years, large floods (4 m) occur every 10 years. Lake is filled with completely or almost completely several times (about four) per century. Water in small and medium floods evaporates before the end of next year.