Tag: Deserts

How Many Humps on a Camel? In Kazakhstan, It’s Complicated

AKTAU, Kazakhstan — In most of the world, camels come in two types: two-humped Bactrian and one-humped dromedary. But nothing is so simple out in the desert of Kazakhstan, where the camels roaming about, munching shrubs, come in a dizzying array of back shapes — most of them some version of one-and-a-half-humped. This is no […]

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The Sweet Hallmark of an Indian Celebration

BLOOMFIELD, N.J. — All Hetal Vasavada wanted when she was growing up in suburban New Jersey was to have cake on her birthday. One with pink buttercream frosting, flowers piped on the top and her name written in fancy cursive. Instead, for her ninth birthday, her mother — an immigrant from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, in western […]

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If Algae Clings to Snow on This Volcano, Can It Grow on Other Desolate Worlds?

In Chile’s Atacama Desert, Volcan Llullaillaco is Mars on Earth — or about as close to it as you can get. At 22,000 feet above sea level, it’s the second highest active volcano on Earth. Most of the mountain is a barren, red landscape of volcanic rock and dust, with thin, dry air, intense sunlight […]

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This Land Was Your Land

For the past 10 years I’ve been documenting the fate of the least protected and most at-risk portion of the national commons: the roughly 450 million acres across 12 Western states overseen on our behalf by the United States Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service. It’s an astonishingly diverse landscape of […]

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