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Oryx in the Namib desert
Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND

Art Photography by Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND, Oryx in the Namib desert, Swakopmund, Namibia. On the Atlantic coast of southern Africa, the Namib Desert covers the entire 800 miles (1,300 km) of the Namibian shoreline and extends inland to a width of 62 miles (100 km), comprising one-fifth of the country’s territory.

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Orientation Landscape
Color Brown

Oryx in the Namib desert

Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND

Art Photography by Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND, Oryx in the Namib desert, Swakopmund, Namibia. On the Atlantic coast of southern Africa, the Namib Desert covers the entire 800 miles (1,300 km) of the Namibian shoreline and extends inland to a width of 62 miles (100 km), comprising one-fifth of the country’s territory.

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The GoodPlanet Foundation, chaired by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, seeks to raise public awareness of ecology, making it a central issue, and to promote living together.

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On the Atlantic coast of southern Africa, the Namib Desert covers the entire 800 miles (1,300 km) of the Namibian shoreline and extends inland to a width of 62 miles (100 km), comprising one-fifth of the country’s territory. Although its name, in the Nama language, means “place where there is nothing,” its biological richness makes it a site unique in the world. The Namib has a secret: the humid air masses coming from the Atlantic condense on contact with the desert surface, which cools at night, enveloping the area in a thick morning fog nearly 100 days each year. This fog adds up to 1.2 inches (30 mm) of annual precipitation and constitutes the desert’s main source of water and thus of life. When the orange-red sand is moistened, it allows many plant and animal species to subsist in the Namib Desert, such as an insect that specializes in capturing the water vapor. Only species that have evolved characteristics adapted to the extreme conditions of desert locations (aridity, harsh temperatures, scarce food resources) can survive here, including this gemsbok (Oryx gazella), a large African antelope.

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