The Origin Of The Sahara Desert

Sahara Desert

The African Sahara Desert. Composite satellite image in orthographic projection.
Credit: NASA

The Sahara Desert

Apr 6, 2010 – Thunderbolts Picture of the Day

An extraterrestrial sand scar?

The light areas in the image above show the wide swath of desert area that extends across Africa, the Middle East, and the entire Asian continent. It encompasses many deserts including the Sahara.

The Sahara is the world’s largest hot desert. At over 9,000,000 square kilometres (3,500,000 square miles), it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as the United States or the continent of Europe. The desert stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean. Some of the sand dunes can reach 180 meters (600 ft.) in height. Mixed in with the oceanic sands there are large rock formations, boulders, stones and pebbles. Some have compared areas of the Sahara to the surface of Mars.

The sands of the Sahara hold many secrets. It wasn’t always a vast desolate ocean of sand; around 5,000 years ago it was a very different terrain. It was a sub-tropical paradise where deer, hippos and elephants were hunted and giraffes and rhinoceros roamed the area. With a plentiful supply of food, thousands of hunter-gatherers flocked to live in this lush savannah.

Sahara once a Savanna

Sahara desert much wetter in the past.

These facts are evident from the discovery of hundreds of human graves and numerous rock paintings, depicting people hunting and even swimming. Furthermore, radar images taken by the NASA space shuttle show that beneath the sand are networks of rivers, once spanning the entire Sahara. North Africa was once alive with people! What happened to this lush green world?

It was initially believed the Sahara died out abruptly about 5,000 years ago. However, recent studies have supposedly shown this to be incorrect. Conventional scientists believe the process took about three millennia as reported by Reuters in May 2008.

“The once-green Sahara turned to desert over thousands of years rather than in an abrupt shift as previously believed, according to a study on Thursday that may help understanding of future climate changes. The study of ancient pollen, spores and aquatic organisms in sediments in Lake Yoa in northern Chad showed the region gradually shifted from savannah 6,000 years ago towards the arid conditions that took over about 2,700 years ago. The findings, about one of the biggest environmental shifts of the past 10,000 years, challenge past belief based on evidence in marine sediments that a far quicker change created the world’s biggest hot desert.”

How does sand form?

Sand is the result of finely weathered and eroded rock. It is believed it takes tens of thousands, if not millions of years for exposed rock to weather into sand. The longer this erosion takes place, the finer the grains. The sand in the Sahara is some of the oldest on the planet; it is believed to have existed for seven million years. Some of the sand dunes are rich in iron ore. The impurities stain the quartz particles, which accounts for their yellow colour.

Where did the Sahara sand come from? It did not exist 6,000 years ago. Experts are proposing that vast oceans of sand formed in less than 3,300 years. This is impossible because Saharan sand is some of the oldest on the planet. Putting this into context means that an area the size of the US has been covered in a vast sea of sand in what has to be the blink of an eye in geological terms. This makes no sense because the time frame for the formation of the sand does not allow it according to consensus theories. If the adjoining deserts swathing out across the Middle East and Asia are also considered, this equates to an area twice the size of the US. Where did all this sand come from?

Is it possible the earth is covered with debris from recent cosmic catastrophe? Could debris such as large boulders, rocks, stones, pebbles, dust and sand which are believed to be indigenous to Earth actually be extraterrestrial in origin?

Wall Thornhill speaking on “Coast to Coast” November 26, 2007:

“When you have an highly charged object like a comet coming towards the earth, before it strikes the earth there will be an electrical discharge between the two bodies and that discharge will usually be of sufficient magnitude to destroy the incoming object – so you end up with a shower of sand and stuff like that.”

“The famous Chicago fires where that whole area of the US was lit by strange fires and falls of sand and such like. And this occurred at the time of the disappearance of Biela’s comet.”

Countless tons of rocks bombarded Earth’s atmosphere, fragmenting and breaking up into fine grains of sand. As it fell to Earth it covered vast areas of once-lush, green fertile land, turning it into the barren deserts we see today.

This sand forms a gigantic scar across the landscape which suggests great swarms of debris were hurled at the Earth, and the enormous quantities of sand demonstrates the extent of this bombardment.

Contributed by Gary Gilligan

Extraterrestrial Sands book.
See also: Where did all the Sand in the Sahara Desert come from?

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