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Rare natural phenomenon – floral bloom in Atacama desert


Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth, came to life after an unusual episode of heavy flooding swept Chile in March 2015.

The desert, located in northern Chile, is currently undergoing a very rare flower bloom, which happens only once in 5 or even 10 years, media reported on October 29, 2015.

This natural phenomenon is due to severe, historic rainfall which swept the area earlier this year, triggering severe flooding which caused 25 deaths and left thousands of people homeless. Torrential rainfalls of this strength are attributed to this year's very strong El Niño event.

Amazing floral landscape provides a spectacular sight for the local residents used to dry land, where scarcely any vegetation can be found under normal conditions.

The floral phenomenon such as this one, which happens because dormant seeds bloom after getting exposed to substantial precipitation, is called "desierto florido" or "flowering desert", and Atacama desert is one of the few places on the planet which get to experience it.

Locals and visitors will be able to enjoy this rare sight until early November when the landscape will once again turn back to normal.

Featured image: Atacama desert in floral bloom, September 26, 2010. Image credit: Orlando Sørensen (Flickr – CC)

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