Image credit: Harald Süpfle via Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA 2.5)

This feature looks like it belongs on the Red Planet instead of our humble abode, but indeed, this image is of a spectacular area in Namibia.

Located deep within the southern portion of the Namib Desert, the sand dunes of Sossusvlei are among the highest dunes on the planet. Of these, the largest of the bunch is affectionately called "Big Daddy." It rises approximately 380 meters (or about a quarter of a mile) from its base. Sossusvlei itself is a very remote salt and clay pan (or the remnant of an endorheic lake), which is about 300 kilometers (186 miles) south-southwest of the Windhoek, Namibia's capital.

Most interestingly, the winds in Sossusvlei are constantly changing the dunes, causing them to shift into different shapes. When viewing it in person, the contrast between the red sand and the blue sky make the dunes one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Namibia. Who wouldn't want to see Mother Nature's most fabulous sand castle? Count me in!

There are many fabulous images of Sossusvlei, Namibia here. Photographer Paul Godard developed a series of images depicting how this (and several other) areas would appear from the perspective of a horse. Random, I know, but check them out here.

This article is part of a series, Earth: The Pale Blue Dot, which explores and highlights some of the amazing and beautiful natural features of the planet Earth.


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