Deserts

"Slab City: Dispatches from the Last Free Place" is a new book that explores a one-square-mile patch of desert in Imperial County, California, that once served as a military base. Seen here is a sentry box that once guarded Camp Dunlap’s southwest perimeter.

Inside Slab City, a Squatters’ Paradise in Southern California

Architect and author Charlie Hailey and photographer Donovan Wylie capture one of America’s last free places

This critter soaks in the heat of a 112 degrees Fahrenheit day in Death Valley.

Death Valley Scorches Its Own Record for the Hottest Month in History

Temperatures averaged a blistering 108.1 degrees Fahrenheit for the month of July

Take a 3D Tour Through Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West

New state-of-the-art scans allow virtual visits to the architect's winter home and gives conservators detailed blueprints

Yes, You Can Go Sandboarding in the Namib Desert

The Namibian town of Swakopmund is a top tourist draw for desert lovers. Popular activities include quad-biking and sandboarding down its massive dunes

Most White Sands moths are white to blend in with their environment, but a select few black species have evolved as well.

Dissecting Moth Genitals In the Name of Science

How “moth evangelist” Eric Metzler uncovered hundreds of moth species in the barren dunes of New Mexico

Fossil Tracks May Record Ancient Humans Hunting Giant Sloths

The tracks suggest a human—perhaps in search of food—closely followed the movements of the massive creature

Several views of a fossilized finger bone found Al Wusta site, Saudi Arabia.

Rare 85,000-year-old Finger Bone Complicates Our Understanding of African Migration

The fossil builds on the theory that humans left Africa in multiple waves, and suggests they made it as far as the Arabian Desert

Bears Ears National Monument

Five Things to Know About the Redrawn National Monuments

The president is reducing two massive National Monuments by millions of acres. Read the context behind the decision and what to expect going forward

This Artist Is Crowdsourcing "Singing" Sand From Around the World

Amsterdam-based artist Lotte Geeven is making sand symphonies for a public artwork debuting next spring

Watch First Video of Sand Cat Kittens Romping in the Wild

The elusive kittens were documented sitting under a bush in the Moroccan Sahara last April

The Cavern Grotto restaurant is located 21 stories underground.

Dine 21 Stories Underground in This 345-Million-Year-Old Cavern

Cavern Grotto, a new restaurant in Arizona, opens inside the largest dry cavern system in the country

The Joshua tree is one of the Mojave Desert's most iconic inhabitants. But it's under threat—and the key to saving it may lie in better understanding its tiny winged partner.

How a Tree and Its Moth Shaped the Mojave Desert

The partnership between the Joshua tree and the yucca moth may be key to understanding how plants and insects co-evolve

An earthship seems to rise out of the high plains at the foot of the mountains near Taos, New Mexico.

These Otherworldly "Earthships" Offer Visitors Unusual, Off-the-Grid Accommodations

Spend the night in an art house built from garbage

Today the desert tortoise faces a variety of new human-associated threats: off-road vehicle use, the illegal pet trade, and now, an influx of deadly ravens.

To Save Desert Tortoises, Make Conservation a Real-Life Video Game

Traditional techniques weren't working for the raven-ravaged reptile. So researchers got creative

Northwest Airlines 747-200

Where Do the Largest Airplanes Go to Die?

Explore this 1,500-acre aircraft boneyard in the Sonoran Desert

One of the world's most iconic deserts was once lush and green. What happened?

What Really Turned the Sahara Desert From a Green Oasis Into a Wasteland?

10,000 years ago, this iconic desert was unrecognizable. A new hypothesis suggests that humans may have tipped the balance

Rock art from the Ennedi Plateau

Vandals Deface Rock Art In Chad's Ennedi World Heritage Site

Names were written in French and Arabic on some of the area's rock art, which can date back as far as 8,000 years

The latest iteration of the four-legged LEMUR exploration robot clings to a test rock surface in Aaron Parness’ lab in a recent test of its microspine capabilities.

A New Generation of Interplanetary Rovers Is Crawling Toward the Stars

These four-legged, wheel-less robots will explore asteroids and the frigid outer worlds of our Solar System

Adorable Ground Squirrels Playing in Sweltering Heat

Ground squirrels in the Kalahari have devised a remarkable method to guarantee portable shade: they use their tails as umbrellas

This aerial view shoes the weird wonder of "fairy circles" in the Namibian desert.

Dueling Theories on the Cause of “Fairy Circles” Could Both Be Right

New research brings together competing concepts to describe how the mysterious features form

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