What is the world’s largest desert?

Deserts can take different forms, from vast scorching sands to enormous ice sheets. But what are the most vast hot and cold deserts on the planet? And what kinds of life can survive in these extremely dry places?

To answer this record-breaking question, it’s important to consider what exactly makes a desert a desert. By Jonathan Wille (opens in new tab)Any region that receives less than 9.8 inches (25 centimeters) of precipitation per year qualifies as a desert, says Antarctic meteorologist and climatologist from the University of Grenoble in France.

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