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Brazil’s Ephemeral Flooded Desert

Brazil’s Ephemeral Flooded Desert

Natalie Wynn

Little-known to the world is a stunning desert oasis of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Maranhão,  northeastern Brazil.

Endless strips of deep turquoise pools wind through sweeping white sand dunes in this 1,500-square kilometer natural wonder. The pools come from the accumulation of water from the rainfall that occurs every start of the year.

The oasis is at its most spectacular between July and September when the pools are at their fullest. But by October, the desert begins to dry up and the cycle starts a new.

A variety of fishes are able to thrive in the freshwater pools which are thought to have originated from birds carrying their eggs from the sea. The national park also houses its own unique flora and fauna that have adapted to the periodical drying up of the area.

Many people also park residents, working primarily as fishermen during the rainy season and farmers of nearby tillable land during the dry season.

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