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Discovery HD World to launch ‘Deserts and Life’

MUMBAI: Discovery HD World is all set to launch a series on deserts of the world and the lives of people living in those regions.

Presented in high definition, the six part series ‘Deserts and Life’ aims to amaze the audience by the range and diversity of deserts. From Rajasthan to Sahara, Chile to Mongolia, Judea to Antarctica, the show will be a feast of landscapes and cultures.

It will air from 20 November, at 8 pm every Thursday, with a repeat at 10:45 pm every Friday.

Some of the deserts and their landscapes to be showcased are Thar Desert (India) and its 200,000 sq. km expanse dominated by huge windblown seas of sand, with dunes rising to heights of 152m. Despite an extreme climate ranging from near freezing to 50C, Thar is the most densely populated desert in the world and has been inhabited for thousands of years.

The Atacama Desert (Chile) is over 20 million years old, and is the driest place on earth. Running for 600 miles along the coastline of Chile and Peru, it is made up of white salt basins, emerald-coloured lagoons, sand, geysers, lava flows and blue, red and purple mountains.

The Gobi Desert (China) is one of the most extreme places on the planet, with temperatures reaching +40C in summer, and -40C in winter, and changing by as much as 35C within 24 hours. There are dust storms and strong winds up to 140 km/h and it is not uncommon to see frost and occasionally snow on its dunes and the large expanses of gravel plains and rocky outcrops that dominate the landscape.

The Judean Desert (Israel) spans only 1,500 sq. km but is full of breath-taking views and has a history that in turn has shaped the cultural history of mankind, and given birth to the religions of Judaism and Christianity.

The Australian Outback holds huge sandy deserts, with saline lakes and bizarre rock formations. Australia’s aboriginal peoples have discovered ways to survive in parts of the desert and semi-desert. In recent years the mineral reserves of these lands have been exploited, mines have sprung up and temporary workers have created temporary towns in the unlikeliest of places.

The Namib Desert (South Africa) is 130 million years old and stretches 1200 miles in length. It is home to the highest dunes in the world along the coastlines. It is one of the few deserts which is home to several species of large animals including elephants.