Why Is The Rub al Khali Desert Known as The Empty Place?

Saudi Arabia is a land of many deserts, but none of them is larger and more desolate than the desert known as the Rub al Khali, which
means “the Empty Place.” The Bedouin tribes men who live nearby call it simply “the Sand.”

This desert covers some 250,000 square miles, an area about the size of Texas! It’s a region of fierce winds, scorching heat, dust storms, and sand dunes 500 feet high. Few plants or animals can survive there, and there is almost no water at all in most of the desert.

The Rub al Khali is so desolate that parts of it weren’t explored until the 1940s. The region wasn’t fully mapped until 1965, and even today there are parts that have been seen only from the air!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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