The driest place on Earth has blossomed after a year of rain
Chile’s Atacama Desert, known as the driest place on the planet, is currently covered in pink flowers after enjoying its heaviest rainfall in 20 years.
The city of Antofagasta in the Atacama region has an average yearly rainfall of 0.07 inches, and Arica holds the world record for the longest dry streak after 173 months without a single drop of rain falling. What we’re trying to say is that the Atacama is usually super dry, alright?
Except this year El Niño has worked its magic and got the desert thoroughly wet. In March parts of the region received 0.96 inches of rain in a single day thanks to a heavy thunderstorm – that’s 14 years of rain in the space of 24 hours. The Copiapo River burst its banks and at least nine people died as a result of flooding.
The pink flowers (malva) are not an uncommon sight in the desert, usually appearing every five-seven years, but this year’s substantial rainfall has resulted in the most spectacular blooming in decades.
So if you’re heading to Chile, this could be your best chance to see the flowers for a long time.