Why is the Sahara Desert important?


Quick Answer

The Sahara Desert is important because it is an international landmark that used to be an entirely rich and fertile farmland. Today, parts of the Sahara Desert are still fertile and help to support human and animal life.

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Full Answer

Scientists have found prehistoric cave drawings that point to the fertility of the land and show that most of the Sahara was used as farmland in ancient times. In 6,000 B.C., millet and grains could be seen growing throughout most of the desert. The Sahara is also home to more than 1,000 different plant species. While the Sahara still has some areas of fertile farmland, most of the desert is no longer abundantly fertile.

Many people think of the Sahara as a very hot place, but it can actually be quite cold. While the hottest temperature was 136 degrees Fahrenheit and was recorded in Libya in 1922, temperatures can drop below freezing at night due to the lack of humidity. In fact, it can even snow.

Another interesting thing about the Sahara Desert is its composition. The desert is not even half sand, since some areas only have a thin layer of sand over the gravel substrata. Scientists estimate that the Sahara is made up of 70 percent gravel and 30 percent sand.

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