The Sahara Desert in Northern Africa is the largest hot desert in the world. This fierce land stretches about 1,800 km from the north to the south and about 4,800 km from the east to the west. Temperatures can easily exceed 40°C in the daytime during summer and can fall to -10°C at night in winter. More than 8,000 years ago, the Sahara was a fertile land where farmers grew millet. As the annual rainfall in the area gradually decreased, it became a huge desert. Most areas of this desert average 10 cm of rain per year.The Sahara has one of the harshest climates in the world.
Gary Smith and a few of his adventurous friends decided to hike across the Sahara. Supporters in cars, who carried food and water for the group, accompanied them.
One day, Smith got separated from the rest of the group. He was soon lost in the desert and could not figure out which direction to go. Then a sandstorm covered the area. It was not a big storm, but when it was over, Smith was even more confused. In the unbearable heat,
he quickly finished his water. He was forced to spend that night out in the open, and he almost froze to death.
The next day, he walked on aimlessly. His limbs ached, his lips were cracked and bleeding, and he had a terrible headache, but he would not stop. Smith was determined to survive. After the second night, he started to worry about dying. He realized that his friends
might not find him in time. It was late on the third day that Smith collapsed.
When Smith awoke, he was in an air-conditioned vehicle with his friends. He had been found by a group of bedouins who were traveling in a caravan. The bedouins returned him to his group of friends. Smith was lucky to have survived.
北非的撒哈拉沙漠是全世界面積最大的炎熱荒漠。這片廣闊沙地南北距離約1,800 公里，東西距離約4,800 公里。夏季白天氣溫可輕易達到攝氏40 度，冬季夜間則可降至攝氏零下10 度。超過八千年前，撒哈拉原為農夫種植小米的肥沃田地。隨著降雨量逐年遞減，撒哈拉最終成為偌大的沙漠。多數撒哈拉地區的平均年降雨量為10公分，擁有世上最嚴峻的氣候條件。