The Sahara is the greatest desert on the planet, with an area of more than 9 million km². Its dimensions can be compared with the entire territory of the United States. In ancient times, warriors and wanderers went on campaigns through the desert, but never returned. The Sahara hides a lot of secrets that for a long time could not be solved. But modern scientists have succeeded, and Novate.ru will tell about it.
1. Craters from cosmic bodies
Meteorites repeatedly fell on the Earth and left large dents on the surface. The consequences of the blows have survived in the desert to this day, forming huge craters. One of them is the Kamil crater, 45 m wide. It is located in southwestern Egypt. An iron meteorite landed there 5,000 years ago. And this is not the only case. It was in the Sahara that a fifth of all falls of cosmic bodies were discovered. Only Antarctica, which hides little under the blocks of ice, can compete with it.
2. Libyan glass
About 29 million years ago, a meteorite hit our planet, which melted a large part of the Libyan desert and transformed the sand into the thinnest sheets of green glass. Scientists still cannot find the crater, but they still find Libyan glass in the most unexpected places. For example, in the tomb of Tutankhamun. The scarab beetle on the pharaoh's breastplate was made of green glass. And one of the daggers is cast from meteorite iron. What the Egyptians knew about these materials is anyone's guess.
3. Eye of the Sahara (Rishat)
A unique geological formation with a diameter of 50 km is located in the west-central part of Mauritania. The Eye of the Sahara (in other words, the Richat structure) resembles a series of concentric rings. At first, scientists believed that the meteorite was "to blame" here. However, modern research has shown that Rishat are alternating layers of rocks. According to rough estimates, the sandstone is about 480 million years old, and the Rishat structure itself has passed for 2.5 billion years.
4. Extinct whales
Once upon a time, the Tethys Ocean reigned on the territory of the Sahara, in which there were many marine inhabitants, including whales. However, the earth's crust rose and the old house became uninhabitable. Egypt even has the Whale Valley, which still contains fossils of 15-meter whales. And next to them are the teeth of huge sharks. According to scientists, marine life became extinct about 37 million years ago.
5. Lost River
Once upon a time, a huge river flowed on the territory of the current Sahara, which could be the twelfth largest river on the planet. Scientists have discovered the remains of a reservoir in Mauritania with river sediments. A satellite study confirmed that the river was indeed there, but dried up about 5,000 years ago. They called her Tamanrasset.
In addition to whales and sharks, the 9-meter crocodile Machimosaurus lived in the ancient ocean of Tethys. It is an extinct genus of reptiles, the largest of all crocodiles. Mahimosaurs ate fish, sea turtles, and larger corpses. They lived about 120 million years ago. In the Sahara, there is still a lot of evidence of marine life, since the desert, as if on purpose, pushes all its secrets into the hands of paleontologists.
About 95 million years ago, dinosaurs lived in the desert. Spinosaurus is the largest predator ever discovered by scientists. Representatives of the Spinosauridae family reached a height of 7 m and a length of 16 m. Against their background, even a tyrannosaurus seems to be a baby. According to scientists, spinosaurus is the only semi-aquatic representative of an individual. This is evidenced by the long, flat legs, which are comfortable to row, and the high position of the nostrils. The dinosaur had a huge sail-like fin on its back.
We also advise you to read, where animals disappeared from Egypt, if they are depicted in ancient drawings.