Who Abandoned All of These Trains in the Atacama Desert?
Atacama Desert, Chile
The Atacama Desert is a plateau in South America covering a 1000-km (600-mi) strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes mountains. It is the driest desert in the world, as well as the only true desert to receive less precipitation than the polar deserts. According to estimates, the Atacama Desert occupies 105,000 km2 (41,000 sq mi), or 128,000 km2 (49,000 sq mi) if the barren lower slopes of the Andes are included. Most of the desert is composed of stony terrain, salt lakes (salares), sand, and felsic lava that flows towards the Andes.