What Is the Driest Place on Earth?

The center of the Atacama Desert in Chile is considered the driest place on Earth. During an average year, the area receives less than 1 or 2 millimeters of rainfall, and no plants or animals live in the most extremely dry areas.

The Atacama covers over 600 miles of southern Peru and northern Chile in South America. Some parts of the region have not recorded any rain at all since weather records have been kept. Despite the arid conditions, an estimated 1 million people live in the region, mostly near oases and coastal towns. Residents on Chile's northwest coast use fine mesh nets connected to troughs to capture moisture from the dense fog that rolls in from the Pacific Ocean.