Chile’s Atacama Desert: World’s driest place turns into a carpet of flowers after surprise rain

SANTIAGO – Beautiful plants grew in the Atacama Desert – the driest place on Earth – following unexpectedly heavy rainfall in the north of the country during the winter months.

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The “desierto florido” (flowering desert) phenomenon usually occurs every five to seven years when rains cause buried seeds to germinate and flower. But the latest bloom comes just two years after a particularly colorful flowering in 2015.

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More than 200 floral species and endemic fauna have been found to grow in the area, drawing visitors and botanists from Chile and further afield.

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Thousands of tourists are now eager to see the flowers and also catch a glimpse of the volcanoes, skyscrapers and dunes that make up the landscape of the area.