The Desert – Summary

A place without water and vegetation is generally called a desert.


A desert is generally a place without water and vegetation. The popular belief is that it is an area of endless sand with no greenery, dry, hot and without shade. But this belief is not all correct. The desert can be a beautiful place, a home of many people, animals and plants. When it rains, desert flowers bloom.

A desert is not just a sandy wasteland. It may have mountains and even a greenland, called oasis. An oasis takes shape around a spring or well. A desert may be hot like the Thar or cold like Ladakh. Strong winds raise heaps of sand and deposit them as mounds. These are called sand dunes.

All living things including plants and animals, need water to survive. But desert creatures and plants require less water than green land plants. Camels can do without water for days together. The reason is that they sweat very little. Human beings sweat when it gets hot. The sweat cools the body. Camels can stand high body temperature.

The smaller desert plants, such as cactus store water in their thick stems. They quickly absorb moisture even from the light rains.

The major feature of all deserts is dryness and variations in temperature. Since there is no moisture in the air, the desert heats up rapidly during the day and also cools off rapidly at night.

Deserts have their own importance. They are part of nature’s plan. One should not call them useless.

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