The Atacama Desert in Chile is covered with beautiful pink flowers due to abnormally record breaking rainfall.
The Atacama Desert in Chile is known as the driest place on earth. However, the desert has been covered with fields of beautiful pink flowers. The flowers blossomed into lush floral beds due to abnormal rainfall in the desert.
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In March and August of 2015 the desert had record breaking, abnormal amounts of rainfall. The rainfall even resulted in flood and mudslides and caused 28 reported deaths. Thousands were also homeless as a result of the rainfall in Chile.
"The Atacama region was punished, but also blessed by the phenomenon of a flourishing desert, something that happens only after the rains, this time brought about by El Niño and climate change," Daniel Diaz, National Tourism Service director in Atacama, told EFE (via ABC News).
"The intensity of blooms this year has no precedent," Diaz said. "And the fact that it has happened twice in a same year has never been recorded in the country's history. We are surprised."
It seems the region was also blessed with flowers along with the punishment. The desert is flourishing in the aftermath. The rain is believed to be brought about by El Niño and climate change. The intensity of the floral blooms at present has no precedent.
The blooms have occurred twice in the same year in Chile. Researchers and environmentalists are baffled by the phenomenon. The experience is quite unique for everyone there in Chile. Everyone is taking the opportunity to document the dynamics of the ecosystem.
In the early 20th century the desert held the world record for the longest dry streak. Not even a single drop of rain fell for 173 straight months. It all changed when El Niño came. Heavy thunderstorms in the Atacama Desert delivered 0.96 inches of rain in a single day.
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It is equivalent to 14 years of rain. The mallow or malva flowers used to bloom every 5 or 7 years. Now they are covering the landscape and twice in a year. 20,000 tourists will travel to the Atacama Desert to see the rare blooms. The blooms are expected to remain until November 2015.