Tunisia-3901 - Chott el Jerid
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Chott el Jerid, is the largest salt pan of the Sahara with a surface area of over 7,000 square km (2,703 sq mi). Due to the extreme climate with rainfall of only 100 mm (4 in) and temperatures of 50 °C (122 F), water evaporates from the lake in the summer.
Chott el Jerid, is a seasonal crystalline (salt) lake, it is about 40 kilometers (24.85 mi) wide, about 80 kilometers (49.7 mi) long, perfectly flat and is said to be at an elevation 16 meters (52.5 ft) below sea level. In the past, the chott could only be crossed seasonally. It was traitorous because the crystallized crust could crack and dump man, beast and vehicles into a quicksand below, like falling through ice on a lake. Entire caravans were swallowed by the quicksand. In the 1980s a rock and clay causeway was built across the chott making it accessible to most vehicles year around. It now has a very nice paved road so that even the largest tour buses and their passengers can now experience this once almost forbidden journey.