What is the driest permanently inhabited place on Earth? It is in Egypt.
#84512. Asked by Tommyfun. (Aug 14 07 9:52 AM)
There apears to be some conflict|
"The Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth, and is virtually sterile because it is blocked from moisture on both sides by the Andes mountains and by coastal mountains. The average rainfall in the Chilean region of Antofagasta is just 1 mm per year, and at one time no rain fell in the entire desert for 400 years.
...The Atacama is sparsely populated. In an oasis, in the middle of the desert, at about 2000 meters elevation, lies the village of San Pedro de Atacama. Its church was built by the Spanish in 1577. In pre-hispanic times, before the Inca empire, the super-arid interior was inhabited mainly by the Atacameño tribe. It is most notable for the construction of fortified towns called pucara(s), one of which can be seen a few miles from San Pedro de Atacama.
During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries when under the Spanish Empire towns grew along the coast shipping ports for silver produced in Potosí and other mines.
During the 19th century the desert came under control of Bolivia, Chile and Peru and soon became a conflictive zone due to unclear borders and the discovery of nitrate there. After the War of the Pacific in which Chile annexed most of the desert, cities in the zone grew into big international ports, and many Chilean workers migrated there.
...The European Southern Observatory operates two major observatories in the Atacama:
The La Silla Observatory
The Paranal Observatory, which includes the Very Large Telescope."
"It hardly ever rains in Aswan or Luxor in Egypt. They are the driest places that are inhabitated by people on Earth."
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