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Mind-boggling Sahara Desert discoveries. These mysterious finds were made under the sands of the world’s largest & driest Desert.
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Voiceover by Carl Mason: [email protected]
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Number 7 Lost River
Because of shifts in the Earth’s axis, as it rotates around the Sun, the Sahara goes through a 41,000 year cycle of desert and savanna grassland. The borders of the sands have shifted due to climate changes spanning back millions of years. By looking at the desert’s history, scientists have determined that the world’s 12th largest drainage basin once flowed through it. The Tamanrasett River was discovered based on evidence from an undersea canyon off the coast of Mauritania. The enormous river is believed to have once carved a path through the canyon. It flowed through West Africa as recently as 5,000 years ago and its existence was confirmed by a Japanese satellite.
Number 6 Nabta Stones
Starting from around the 10th millennium BC, a region in Southern Egypt known as Nabta Playa started to receive more rainfall. A lake subsequently began to take shape, which attracted populations of cattle herders. By the 7th millennium BC, their settlements had grown larger and more organized, even more so than those closer to the Nile Valley. The inhabitants of Nabta Playa relied on deep wells that held water throughout the year and built stone structures both above and below the ground.
Number 5 Machimosaurus Rex
At over 23-feet-long, it’s the largest sea-dwelling crocodilian ever discovered. It’s worth mentioning that the “Rex” is a new addition to the Machimosaurus genus, which was already known.
Number 4 Eye of the Sahara
Also known as the Richat Structure, the Eye of the Sahara is a blue, circular formation that resembles a gigantic bullseye, with a 25-mile diameter. It’s visible from space and has been used by astronauts as a visual landmark. Scientists have described it as a very symmetrical and deeply eroded geological dome.
Number 3 Spinosaurus
With a length of 40 to 60 feet and weighing between 8 and 23 tons, the Spinosaurus is the most promising contender for the title of largest land carnivore ever. It was a theropod dinosaur, meaning that it belonged to an order of prehistoric predatory giants, alongside the Tyrannosaurus and the Giganotosuarus. Yet, the Spinosaurus didn’t really resemble its fellow theropods. It looked more like a cross between a crocodile and a T-Rex and fed mostly on fish.
Number 2 Stone Age Site
At the end of the last Ice Age, thousands of years ago, people started living on the edges of the Sahara. At the time it was a much greener and wetter place than today. The Kiffians were a prehistoric people that inhabited the Sahara, 10,000 to 8,000 years ago. The Kiffians were a tall and heavily-muscled people, standing at over 6 feet, with some measuring up to 6ft 8 ins. They were highly skilled as some of the artifacts associated with the culture include bone harpoons and hooks. They lived on the shores of a lake most likely formed during a period called the Holocene Wet Phase. 8,000 years ago, when the Sahara started going through a dry period, there were no more traces of this culture.
Number 1 Basilosaurus
About 90 miles southwest of Cairo, there’s a UNESCO World Heritage paleontological site called Wadi El Hitan. It’s incredibly important for the scientific world because it has provided evidence of how whales transitioned from land to marine creatures, millions of years ago. Because of this the site is also known as “Whale Valley”. About 50 million years ago, when the Sahara looked nothing like it does today, primitive whales called archaeocetes first took to the sea.