New data from researchers have discovered that there is an ancient underground river system hidden under the Sahara Desert in Africa.
This new data may also hold clues to how the Sahara Desert was formed, and gives us a look at the regions wet tropical past.
Using different imaging technologies the scientists were able to examine photos taken of the desert and spotted vast underground rivers.
The Sahara is the largest hot desert and third largest desert after Antarctica and the Arctic.
Its surface area of 9,400,000 square kilometers (3,600,000 sq mi) including the Libyan Desert—is comparable to the respective land areas of China and the United States. The desert comprises much of the land found within North Africa, excluding the fertile coastal region situated against the Mediterranean Sea, theAtlas Mountains of the Mahgreb, and the Nile Valley of Egypt and Sudan.
The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea in the east, girting the Mediterranean, to theAtlantic Ocean in the west, where the landscape gradually transitions to a coastal plain. To the south, it is delimited by the Sahel, a belt of semi-arid tropical savanna that comprises the northern region of central and western Sub-Saharan Africa.
Many of its sand dunes reach over 180 metres (590 ft) in height, Its name is derived from the plural Arabic language word for desert.