What it's like to be inside the cockpit of an A-10 Thunderbolt when it flies over the desert

Here’s a video from inside the A-10 Thunderbolt as it flies through Arizona. The perspective is really cool because you get to see how the world looks from inside the aircraft and see things flip and turn sideways too. It also totally looks like it’s flying over Mars or something. »10/30/15 3:30pm10/30/15 3:30pm

Watch Las Vegas' Population Boom As Its Primary Water Source Drains

Among the many criticisms of cities during this epic drought is the idea that maybe not so many humans should live in deserts. But nowhere has more fingers pointed at it than Las Vegas. This visualization shows just how much Vegas relies on its man-made water system: As Vegas sprawls, Lake Mead sputters to its… »6/02/15 8:12pm6/02/15 8:12pm

The Sahara desert, over southeastern Algeria, sure looks unwelcoming.

The Sahara desert, over southeastern Algeria, sure looks unwelcoming. With humans unwilling to spend weeks surveying such a space, satellites do the job for them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they're revealing evidence of soil degradation and overwhelming dehydration—a result of the area seeing less than 10 mm of rainfall… »11/14/14 6:00am11/14/14 6:00am

You Can Swim In a Secret Pool in the Mojave Desert, If You Can Find It

When it's hot, city dwellers begin to have a certain look of desperation: That single-minded determination to access the sweet summer relief of a pool. Well, here's a public pool that's completely free and available to use—provided you can locate the pool itself, which is somewhere in the middle of a 25,000… »6/30/14 6:40pm6/30/14 6:40pm

How to Grow Food in the Middle of a Desert Using Seawater

As conventional sources of clean water dry up, we're looking ever farther, wider, and deeper. In a long feature on unusual sources of water, Nature leads us somewhere especially unexpected—into the middle of a desert. The Sahara Forest Project wants to prove we can green the desert, turning barren land into oases of… »6/17/14 8:20pm6/17/14 8:20pm

How Forty Acres of Desert Appeared in the Middle of Maine

Maine has miles and miles of coastline, but its most spectacular sand dunes are nowhere near water. For that, you'd have to head inland, toward the vast, sandy expanse known as the "Desert of Maine." There, thanks to hapless farmers and some unusual geology, you'll find rolling dunes in the land of lobster and pine… »5/28/14 3:00pm5/28/14 3:00pm

China tries to make artificial lake, fails and creates desert instead

Officials in Zhengzhou, China, wanted to build an artificial lake on the outskirts of the city but everything went wrong. The source of water they intended to use dried up and the hundreds of thousands of tons of sand destined for the artificial beach began to spread, covering an area the size of four football fields. »5/26/14 2:30pm5/26/14 2:30pm

This was the view that some lucky campers woke up to this past weekend at Coachella, the music and a

This was the view that some lucky campers woke up to this past weekend at Coachella, the music and art festival that continues next weekend in Indio, California. 53 teepees were hand-painted by artist Teale Hathaway and rented as luxury accommodations starting at $2200. [Coachella] »4/14/14 6:00pm4/14/14 6:00pm

Zooming-In On Satellite Calibration Targets in the Arizona Desert

These optical targets in the Arizona desert were built for calibrating the cameras of a spy satellite network called the Corona program. Similar to the huge bar codes found across the U.S. southwest, also used for testing high-altitude cameras, these targets are glyphs meant to be seen from the sky: fixed points of… »4/08/14 11:59am4/08/14 11:59am

This Man Built A Colorful Mountain In The Desert With His Bare Hands

The only color in the landscape for miles, Salvation Mountain looms like a mirage on the horizon. The three-story, three-decade work of artist Leonard Knight, who died yesterday at the age of 82, is a piece of brightly painted, hand-sculpted California desert, like an impossibly scaled cathedral made from Play-Doh. »2/11/14 1:40pm2/11/14 1:40pm

Can You Spot The 70-Year-Old Homesteader's Shack Hiding In The Desert?

At first glance, it's easy to mistake this clapboard box in the middle of Joshua Tree for a mirage or digital illusion. Artist Philip K. Smith III added mirrored panels to the shack's exterior, making Lucid Stead seem to hover in the landscape like a processing glitch. At night, when the sun goes down, it then… »11/19/13 12:40pm11/19/13 12:40pm