Atacama Desert Bursts into Color: Early Bloom of White and Purple Flowers

Rodrigo Gutierrez/ Reuters

Recently, the Atacama Desert experienced something that is rather unique. This desert, also referred to as Disierto Florida, is one of the driest locations on the planet, but every few years it is covered in flowers. This occurs when the appropriate quantities of precipitation and temperature combine to awaken latent seeds that are normally found in the desert. The present bloom, on the other hand, is occurring at an extremely early time, in the middle of the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere. This is due to the rainfall that is being driven by El Niño, an unforeseen climatic phenomenon that has an effect on the weather all over the world.

Take a peek at the breathtaking surroundings of the Atacama Desert.

Rodrigo Gutierrez/Reuters

According to the researchers, the flowers are not yet sufficiently numerous to be formally classified as a component of the “flowering desert.” In spite of this, further rainfall is anticipated, which means that the blossoms may spread across a wider region. El Niño was the primary factor that caused the rains that occurred, as previously mentioned. In fact, the bloom normally occurs at the same time as El Niño, which is characterized by higher temperatures in the region. This results in increased evaporation, which in turn leads to an increase in rainfall conditions.

FACT: The Atacama Desert, which is located in northern Chile, has been found to be the driest desert in the world, according to studies that were carried out by NASA. In the central sector of Chile, which is defined by the towns of Antofagasta, Calama, and Copiapó, there have been periods of up to four years in which there has been no rainfall.

Rodrigo Gutierrez/Reuters

Back in 2022, the government of Chile made an announcement regarding the establishment of an entirely new national park in the Atacama Desert. The purpose of this establishment was to save the unique flowers as well as the species, which include birds, reptiles, and insects, that these blooms serve to sustain.

Georgia Nica
Writing was, and still is my first passion. I love all that cool stuff about science and technology. I'll try my best to bring you the latest news every day.