World's TopList

The Top 10 Largest Deserts in the World

A desert is an area that receives little precipitation. Deserts can be hot or cold. Most deserts are quite barren as the dry conditions are too hostile to most plant and animal life. Desert flora and fauna have special adaptations that help them survive the harsh environment. Humans also dwell in desert areas. Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world and the third largest desert overall after Antarctica and the Arctic.

Rank Name Type Image Area
(sq mi)
1 Antarctica Polar Ice and Tundra 14,000,000 5,405,000 Antarctica
2 Arctic Polar Ice and Tundra 13,985,000 5,400,000 Eastern Europe (European Russia)
Northern America (Alaska, Canada, and Greenland)
Northern Asia (Siberia)
Northern Europe (Finland, Iceland, Jan Mayen, Norway, Svalbard and Sweden)
3 Sahara Subtropical 9,000,000+ 3,300,000+ Eastern Africa (Eritrea)
Middle Africa (Chad)
Northern Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara)
Western Africa (Mali, Mauritania and Niger)
4 Australian Desert Subtropical 2,700,000 1,000,000 Australia
5 Arabian Desert Subtropical 2,330,000 900,000 Western Asia (Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen)
6 Gobi Desert Cold Winter 1,295,000 500,000 Eastern Asia (China and Mongolia)
7 Kalahari Desert Subtropical 900,000 360,000 Middle Africa (Angola)
Southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia and South Africa)
8 Patagonian Desert Cold Winter 620,000 200,000 South America (Argentina and Chile)
9 Syrian Desert Subtropical 520,000 200,000 Western Asia (Iraq, Jordan, and Syria)
10 Great Basin Cold Winter 492,000 190,000 United States

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