Chile’s Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on the planet. But recently, it’s turned into something totally unexpected: an oasis of pink flowers.
After almost 7 years of having no rain throughout the region, massive downpours in March caused pink mallow flowers and 200 other plant species to bloom. The phenomenon, in which dormant seeds come to life after rainfall events, is called ‘desierto florido’ or translated as ‘flowering desert’.
The vast fields of flowers are expected to bring in about 20,000 tourists until they start wilting in November. It’s a sight so rare, only two other places have deserts that can transform into lush landscapes: the US and Australia.
‘The intensity of blooms this year has no precedent’, said Daniel Diaz, National Tourism Service director in Atacama. ’And the fact that it has happened twice in the same year has never been recorded in the country’s history. We are surprised’.