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 6:40pm 6/30/14 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 8:20pm 6/17/14 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 3:00pm 5/28/14 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 2:30pm 5/26/14 2:30pm

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 11:59am 4/08/14 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 1:40pm 2/11/14 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 12:40pm 11/19/13 12:40pm

These Star Wars Parkour Guys Are Probably Real Life Jedis

If you dress up like a Jedi on a day that's not October 31st (even if it is October 31st, actually), you're probably going to be branded a geek. Wear that proudly! But if you dress up like a Jedi and do parkour tricks in the freaking desert like bouncing off rocks and double backflips and triple spins all while… » 7/31/13 9:30pm 7/31/13 9:30pm

This Billboard Produces Drinkable Water Out Of Thin Air

Lima, Peru, has the unfortunate distinction of being the second largest capital in the world located in a desert. It rarely rains there, and many of the residents are forced to get their water from dirty wells. But on the flipside, the humidity also hovers around 98 percent, so the local University of Engineering and… » 2/22/13 11:18am 2/22/13 11:18am