There are 33 major deserts in the world that, when subdivided into smaller deserts, similar to mountain ranges, equal 71. Of those 71, 12 are in Africa, one is Antarctica, three are in the arctic basin, 26 are in Asia (including the Middle East), 10 are in Australia and New Zealand, 10 are in Europe, four are in North America, and five are in South America.
Although the typical idea of a desert is a vast sandy place with little water, a desert is actually classified as any area of land that receives less than 10 inches of rain annually. This is why Antarctica is not only classified as a desert, but it is the world's largest desert. The Sahara in Africa is the world's largest hot desert.