What Is the Largest Desert in the World?


Quick Answer

Antarctica is the largest desert in the world. Although it is the fifth-largest continent in the world, it is considered a desert as a result of receiving less than 2 inches, or about 51 millimeters, of precipitation annually. Antarctica, the southernmost continent, is 5.5 million square miles in area.

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Full Answer

More than 98 percent of Antarctica is covered by ice. This is the driest and coldest desert in the world. There are no permanent human residents in Antarctica; however, the continent receives thousands of researchers annually. The Sahara is considered the largest hot-weather desert in the world. The Sahara covers more than 3.5 million square miles.

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