I've been watching The Weather Channel tonight about how weather makes weird sights and conditions on the planet. They covered things like:
- How fish can freeze inside lake ice
- How planes make horizontal tornadoes
- How rains carved out Madagascar - where we had a Fun Campaign last year
- How rains can leave behind oddly shaped rocks and formations
- How glaciers break and the waves they create
- How a lake boils in South America,
But I really perked up when they talked about seeing "holes" in sand dunes from overhead.
Remember all the "holes" we saw in Middle Eastern countries? We guessed or concluded things like a water cistern system; fenceposts; and even joked it was Big Foot.
I knew that in sandy desert areas, winds can stir up massive dust storms. But I didn't know one of its effects--
If there is a stand of trees, sand can blow against the trees. Each storm piles up more sand around the bases, then, eventually causing a "sand dune" or hill covering the trees. The trees, buried underneath, begin to rot. By 70 years with no sunlight, the trees completely disintegrate. When that happens, sand starts to fall to fill in the open cavity where the tree had stood. On the surface, it leaves behind visible "holes" over the spot of each tree.
What they showed looked exactly like some of the sites we saw in satellite images. They look like a group of indented shadows on the ground.
It almost makes me eager to do more sandy-desert countries, just to see if I can spot this phenomenon!