Who lives in the desert
A huge ball of dry grass, rolling around the desert, is a nightmare of residents of settlements located in dry locations. The largest tangles can reach the size of the car and bring a lot of disasters: block house doors, become the cause of fires. However, people use a roll-field and good. For example, as a backup feed for pasture animals during drought. And for every Christmas in the US state of New Mexico over the 40th motorway rises a snowman made from a row field. The highest – four-meter – was established in 2012.
The largest tangles can reach the size of the car
Most often, the base of the ball serves as a cutter, Rewal Maximovich, Kermek, Kachiim and other plants encountered in a dry climate. Appearing in the middle of the sands, the plant rapidly increases in size, covered with flowers on the fourth-fifth day after germination. However, the roots are so actively pulled out of the soil moisture, which soon it fades, and then the stem is separated from the root, picked up by the wind and starts his journey. Gradually formed a tangle, in which branches and leaves fall, which is why the size of the ball increases. Moving around the desert, it contributes to the spread of seeds.
Even Bedouin-nomads noticed that bizarre formations often meet in the desert, most often resembling flowers. And correlated their origin with the fact that in this place. Empty camel. But scientists found that the matter is not at all in the urine. Main Raw Sand. It must be special, saturated plaster. So that the flower "grown" should pass so rare rain in the desert. It impresses sand and glides gypsum particles. When heat is installed again, water will begin to evaporate and drops, climbing, will form gypsum crystals twisted.
Each "Rose of the Desert" is unique – she has its own size, shape, and even coloring, which depends on the color of sand. White find in Tunisian Sahara, black – in the deserts of Argentina.
Of course, due to the high sand of sand, the mineral does not apply in construction, but appreciated collectors and lovers of jewelry. In some countries, the demand is so high that the removal of an unusual souvenir is prohibited. For example, such a law acts in Algeria. (Previously, "My Planet" in the article "Souvenirs Outside of Law" wrote about items that cannot be taken out of a temporary stay, and also told about the most unusual prohibitions for importing.)
This translucent natural glass of yellow, green or yellow-green shade is found only in one place – the Libyan desert, which is part of the Sahara. It was from this mineral a breastplate with a beetle-scarab from Tutankhamon’s tomb. He was used by ancient masters for the manufacture of copies, scrapers and knives.
For a long time, scientists argued over the secret origin of the mineral. But in 2013, physicists from South Africa, having studied his composition and properties, stated that he was most likely a fragment of a comet, which caused a powerful explosion on this territory around 28 million years ago. The sand melted, and then sharply cooled, as a result of which mineral was formed, 98% consisting of silicon dioxide, and by 2% – from cosmic dust. True, this theory has opponents. First of all, they refer to the fact that millions of years ago, the Saharas had not yet been, which means there was no sand – the main "ingredient" in the production of natural glass.
Despite the fact that the "exhaustion" of the reserves of the Libyan glass of speech is not yet, the Government of Egypt has banned its export from the country.
Little chanterelle with big ears
Fenek – the smallest chanterelle on the planet that lives in the Sahara desert. It is so miniature that even a domestic cat exceeds it in size: with a length of about 30-40 cm, the animal weighs no more than 1.5 kg. Only incredibly large ears are distinguished. They are needed not only to hear better – although, given that the phenk hunts at night, and in the afternoon hiding from the scorching sun in Nore, it is also important. But there is another reason: the body of the animal has no sweat glands, and it is the ears that helps the body do not overheat.
By the way, the phenosi – animals are social, and the older young often remain with their parents to help raise new offspring. And this in the animal world meets not so often. (Earlier "My Planet" published a fragment of the fascinating book of Stanislav Drobyshevsky "Baika from Grott" about how the grandmother appeared.)
Being in the Tour of the desert, do not be surprised, finding a stone that does not move from place when it is hinner. Lithopsy is very easy to confuse with pebbles, but only until buds appear. It is no coincidence that the plants are called: "Live stones".
There are lithopsy in the rocky deserts of South and South-West Africa, where other plants cannot survive. About 40 species of this kind are known, and everyone dwells underground. On the surface there remains only the tip of the mace-shaped sheet, the size of which, depending on the species, can reach up to 5 cm in height and width. When the time comes to appear new leaves, old die, giving nutrients and moisture a young couple. And after rains, which usually fall on autumn, over the entire desert, as a team, millions of yellow, white or orange small colors are revealed. They are pollinated, ripens the fruit, the wind dispels the seeds, and lithopsy again go to the state of rest.
See the African Hydroc – Good luck, since most of his life flower spends underground. This is a parasite plant. His huge roots are sprawling in different directions and are embroidered to the roots of a tree or shrub, selecting nutrients. On the surface of the Hydroc, African appears only after heavy rains, which in the deserts in southern Africa, Arabia and the island of Madagascar, where it grows, you can wait not one year. But, appearing, does not lose time with a gift and immediately dismisses flowers, the size of which can reach up to 15 cm.
They simultaneously attract and repel. Bright orange flowers look like snake heads with an open mouth and smell like a rotten meat. But it is this "fragrance" attracts insect pollinators – Muh and Zhukov-Merrogen, who carry seeds of the hydroda to other plants. After pollination, the mission of the hydrode is considered to be made, and it will be lacking insects until the flower is honored. The beetles are then using its petals for laying larvae, and the monster plant moves to a parasitic lifestyle.
African hydrodar is quite edible, and it is used in food not only jackals, foxes, dickeranes and other animals, but also local residents. In Madagascar, dessert prepares from flowers, mixing them with cream, and the roots are used for the preparation of tinctures and the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system, acne.
Namib desert long-lived
When the Austrian traveler and nerd Friedrich Velwich discovered this plant in 1859, he found that he had a head. "A lot of desert garbage. Where?"- probably he thought. Going closer, the scientist understood that in front of him stump diameter about a meter, from which long leaves depart. At first it seemed to him that the leaves were much, but, well, looking around, he was convinced that there are only two of them, just torn by the wind on long stripes. Later English Botanist Joseph Dolton Gucker called the plant Velvichia amazing – in honor of the discoverer.
You can only meet it in the rocky desert Namib, and that if you are lucky. Seeds, separated by the wind, can be in the rest of a few years, waiting for the rains. If the sprout still leaves the roots, the first leaves will seem after a year. For his life, Velvichia produces only two, which grow at a speed of 8-15 cm per year. And her life is long – up to 2,000 years.
Interesting and structure of leaves. If usually in desert plants, they are thick so that the liquid can be saved, in Venelvichia – flat and long. In the soil of water almost not found, and in the part of the desert, where it lives, often there are fogs, which are the main source of melting moisture. Over time, the leaves are torn and twisted, inevitably pouring. Due to this, Velvichia begins to seem breasts.
The plant is considered a national symbol of Namibia, and its image is banging on the coat of arms of the country. Collect seeds without a special government permission is prohibited.