Namib Desert - Credit: KARI/ESA
This striking view of the Namib Sand Sea in southern Africa was captured by South Korea’s Kompsat-2 satellite on Jan. 7, 2012. The Namib is the world’s oldest desert, and stretches roughly 13,125 square miles (34,000 square kilometers) along Africa’s southwestern coast — from Angola, through Namibia to South Africa.
In the satellite photo, the blue and white area is the Tsauchab, a dry stream bed that only carries water during rare rainfall in the Naukluft Mountains to the east. Black dots of vegetation are concentrated near the river’s main route, and the bright white patches are salt deposits.
The Namib Sand Sea in Namibia was recently inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.