Trivia

Hard

The Driest Place On Earth, As Measured By Precipitation, Is Located In?

Antarctica
Chile
Russia
Australia
Satellite image of the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica.
Robert Simmon (NASA)/Wikimedia

Answer: Antarctica

Thoughts of Antarctica call to mind glaciers, massive snow drifts, and the kind of snow storms that last for weeks and drive explorers mad. Yet among all that snow, you’ll find the absolute driest place on Earth, as measured by precipitation.

The place, known as the McMurdo Dry Valleys, is a wasteland that could easily be confused for an extraterrestrial landscape. The ground is rocky, frozen, and dry. The humidity is extremely low. Nearby mountain ranges are high enough to prevent the flow of ice from the East Antarctic ice sheet from reaching the Ross Sea, and on top of it all, an atmospheric phenomenon called “katabatic winds” (occurring when cold, dense air is pulled downhill by the force of gravity) that rip across the landscape, reaching speeds of 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers per hour), heating as they descend, and evaporating all water, ice, and snow.

As if that alone weren’t enough to secure the crown for the McMurdo Dry Valleys as perhaps the most hellishly cold and dry place on Earth, it’s estimated that precipitation hasn’t fallen on the region for around two million years—a span of time that makes even the driest of dry spells elsewhere on Earth seem like the blink of an eye time-wise.

Trivia

Hard

The Most Efficient Swimmer In The Animal Kingdom Is?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Colors Appears Least Frequently In National Flags Around The World?

Trivia

Very Hard

Whether Wood Is Considered “Hardwood” Or “Softwood” Is Determined By?

Trivia

Hard

Before “Ghosting” Was Slang For Ignoring A Dating Partner, It Was Slang For?

Trivia

Hard

SeaWorld Was Originally Intended To Be A?

Trivia

Hard

Which Song Was Requested By Carl Sagan But Not Included On The Voyager Records?

Trivia

Easy

Airplanes Are Regularly Struck By What?

Trivia

Easy

Sideburns, The Facial Hair Style, Derive Their Name From?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Conditions Allow People To Recall Their Entire Lives With Near-Perfect Detail?

Trivia

Hard

The First Real Astronaut To Appear On Star Trek Was?