If you’re the sort of person who hears the word ‘desert’ then immediately thinks of the word ‘snow’, then we’ve got news for you, mate. You’re definitely swimming against the raging torrent of normal public opinion.
However, even the freest thinkers occasionally get their day in the sun and, earlier this month, that day came. Except it involved snow.
At the beginning of January, an intense winter snow fell in the Sahara Desert in Algeria, near the town of Ain Safra.
That’s right: snow met desert. Desert met snow. The original odd couple. But like many odd couples, they ended up looking adorable together. Check it out:
Ain Sefra is a small town on the northern edge of the Sahara, the hottest desert in the world, but on Sunday the town’s sand dunes were coated with snow after an intense winter storm. https://t.co/bd6xXXafN7 pic.twitter.com/rt6J05POCK
— ABC News (@ABC) January 9, 2018
— مريم بلعالية OUCHAIT (@ouchaitmeriem) January 9, 2018
— Lιηα 💫 (@xlyn16) January 8, 2018
— Mariana (@chicaamable93) January 8, 2018
Amazingly, snow also fell near Ain Safra, which lies in the Atlas Mountains on the northern edge of the desert, as recently as 2016:
For the first time in 37 years snow has fallen in the Sahara desert pic.twitter.com/5BxG0RxwH9
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) December 21, 2016
At the time, local photographer Karim Bouchetata told the Independent: ‘Everyone was stunned to see snow falling in the desert, it is such a rare occurrence. It looked amazing as the snow settled on the sand and made a great set of photos. The snow stayed for about a day and has now melted away.’
Ain Safra, which was established in 1881 as a French garrison town and referred to as ‘The Gateway to the Desert’ experiences summer temperatures of a fry-an-egg-on-your-car-bonnet average of 37C.
Prior to 2016, the region hadn’t seen snowfall since 1979, despite winter temperatures regularly dropping below freezing.