Top 10 Largest Deserts in the World, Know Ranking, and Fascinating Facts about the Biggest Deserts

Antarctic Desert is considered the largest desert in the world with its area spread in 14,200,000 square kilometers.

One of the most interesting facts about deserts is that you can find them all over the world. In fact, nearly one-third of all the land on Earth is desert. If you look at the ten largest deserts in the world, you will see that all of them are thousands of kilometres long.

From the Sahara to the Gobi, there are various types of deserts on our planet. Have you ever wondered, what would the world be like without deserts? The answer is it would be a much different place. Some people might not even exist, so deserts really have a profound effect on all of us. This blog will list the Top 10 largest deserts in the world along with other useful information.

Top 10 Biggest Deserts in the World 2024

Sl. No.Type of DesertArea in Square Kilometres
1Antarctic Desert14,200,000
2Arctic Desert13,900,000
3Sahara Desert9,200,000
4Great Australian2,700,000
5Arabian Desert2,330,000
6Gobi Desert1,295,000
7Kalahari Desert900,000
8Patagonian Desert673,000
9Syrian Desert500,000
10Great Basin492,098

World’s Biggest Hot and Cold Deserts

Antarctic Desert

The Antarctic Desert is the largest desert on earth. It is also one of the driest and cold places on the earth. With an average temperature of -71° Fahrenheit, it’s hard to imagine life in this desert. However, Antarctica is home to a diverse ecosystem that thrives despite the extreme cold and lack of rainfall.

  • Rank – 1st
  • Area – 14,200,000 square kilometre
  • Type of Desert – Polar ice and tundra desert
  • Population – 1000 to 5000
  • Population Density – 0.01 per square kilometre
  • Continent – Antarctica
  • Nations – Antarctica

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Arctic Desert

The Arctic is a huge desert at the North Pole. It is a cold desert that spans Europe, Northern America, Asia, and North America. This desert is a dry, and windswept place that has proven to be a challenge to explorers and colonists. The area is characterized by arctic tundra, which is made up of plants and animals that can survive in extreme cold and dry weather.

  • Rank – 2nd
  • Area – 13,900,000 square kilometre
  • Type of Desert – Polar ice and tundra desert
  • Population – Around 4 Million
  • Population Density – Nearly 1 person per square kilometre
  • Continent – North America, Europe, and Asia
  • Nations – Iceland, Canada, Norway,  Finland, Greenland, Sweden, Jan Mayen, Russia, Svalbard, and the United States

Sahara Desert – Biggest Hot Desert in the World

The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert on earth, covering an area of around 9.2 million square kilometres. It is located in northwestern Africa. The desert is so large that it can be seen from space. It stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.

From a distance, the Sahara Desert may seem like a great place to explore, but it is actually a hot, dry, and barren land with little to no vegetation and hardly any wildlife.

  • Rank – 3rd
  • Area – 9,200,000 square kilometre
  • Type of Desert – Subtropical desert
  • Population – 2.5 Million
  • Population Density – 1 person per square kilometre (roughly)
  • Continent – Africa
  • Nations – Algeria, Libya, Eritrea, Mauritania, Chad, Egypt, Mali,  Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara

Great Australian Desert

The Great Australian Desert is a combination of numerous Australian deserts such as the Great Victoria Desert, Simpson Desert, Tanami Desert, Great Sandy Desert, etc. This desert is so big that it covers 18% of the Australian Mainland. One of the most significant things about this desert is that it has the largest population of feral camels in the world.

  • Rank – 4th
  • Area – 2,700,000 square kilometre
  • Type of Desert – Subtropical desert
  • Population – 0.78 Million
  • Population Density – 0.3 per square kilometre
  • Continent – Australia
  • Nations – Australia

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Arabian Desert – Asia’s Largest Desert

The Arabian Desert is a vast desert that extends from the northwest coast of the Arabian Peninsula through Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman. It is one of the largest and hottest deserts in the world and is known for its extreme heat and lack of rain. The desert is mostly made up of sand and includes areas of salt flats, mud flats, and gravel plains.

This desert has had a considerable impact on history, including providing a refuge for the first Muslim communities and for the early Islamic religious scholars.

  • Rank – 5th
  • Area – 1,855,470 square kilometres
  • Type of Desert – Subtropical desert
  • Population – 7 Million
  • Population Density – 25 per square kilometres
  • Continent – Asia
  • Nations – Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates

Gobi Desert

The Gobi Desert is an enormous desert in Asia that stretches across parts of Mongolia, China, and Russia. Much of the land is sparsely populated with a total population of only a few thousand people.

This desert is home to many unique cultures and traditions. It has been the site of numerous wars and battles over the centuries. Today, the Gobi desert is home to many nomadic groups.

  • Rank – 6th
  • Area – 1,295,000 square kilometre
  • Type of Desert – Cold winter desert
  • Population – 4000
  • Population Density – 0.4 per square kilometre
  • Continent – Asia
  • Nations – China, Mongolia, and Russia

Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert is the largest desert in the world and it’s located in Southern Africa. The Kalahari has been called the “Great Thirst” because the desert has vast areas without any water surface.

Rivers in the Kalahari Desert do not flow year-round because the region is too dry. The only permanent rivers are the Orange River in South Africa and the Okavango River in Botswana.

  • Rank – 7th
  • Area – 9,00,000 square kilometre
  • Type of Desert – Subtropical desert
  • Population – 5000
  • Population Density – 0.5 per square kilometre
  • Continent – Africa
  • Nations – Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa

Patagonian Desert – The biggest desert in South America

The Patagonian Desert covers a huge area of land in the southern region of Argentina and Chile. Mostly, it has a barren and dusty landscape. The desert covers a large area of Chile and Argentina. It is a cold desert, with extreme heat fluctuations from day to night, and has an average temperature below zero degrees Celsius.

This desert has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times. The Indigenous people who lived there had a different way of life in comparison to the rest of the world.

  • Rank – 8th
  • Area – 673,000 square kilometres
  • Type of Desert – Cold winter desert
  • Population – 1,999,540
  • Population Density – 1.9 per kilometre square
  • Continent – South America
  • Nations – Argentina, Chile, and Falkland Islands (United Kingdom)

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Syrian Desert

The Syrian Desert is a large desert that spans across parts of Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. This desert is so large that it accounts for 85% and 55% of the total land area of Jordan and Syria respectively. The climate here is hot and dry. Its barren landscape stretches across the semi-arid and arid regions

  • Rank – 9th
  • Area – 500,000
  • Type of Desert – Subtropical desert
  • Continent – Asia
  • Nations – Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria

Great Basin Desert – Largest Desert in the United States of America (USA)

The Great Basin is a vast desert that encompasses the majority of Nevada and small portions of Utah, Idaho, and Oregon. It is home to some of the most spectacular and diverse landscapes in the world. You can find 33 peaks within the Great Basin Desert. A few of the summits are higher than 9800 feet.

  • Rank – 10th
  • Area – 492,098
  • Type of Desert – Cold winter desert
  • Continent – North America
  • Nations – United States of America

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the hottest desert in the World?

The Lut Desert in Iran with an average temperature of 70 Degrees Celsius.

Are all deserts sandy?

No, all deserts are not sandy. They can also be cold and ice-covered.

What is the coldest desert in the world?


What is the largest desert in India?

Thar desert.

We hope that you are able to learn new information through this article. Please let us know if you think any detail in this article is not correct. We will fix it as soon as possible.

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