The Mojave Desert, named after the Mojave Indian tribe from the Western portion of the United States, is a vast and expansive study in ecology. The desert is the reported home to more than 2,000 species of plants. The flora, fauna and wildlife that call the Mojave Desert home share some of the land with large highways and even major cities. The Mojave is a fascinating study with plenty of interesting facts about its landscape, location and ecology.
The small town of Nipton, California, is technically inside the Mojave Desert. The town undertook a large green living initiative in the summer of 2010. The town will generate upward of 85 per cent of its energy by using solar-generated power. This is an intriguing, yet reasonable, move toward sustainable living. The sheer heat and baking sun that shines down over the Mojave Desert makes projects such as the Nipton project an interesting display of how using the natural layout of the land can provide for more economical living conditions.
The Big Screen and High Rollers
The expansive size of the Mojave Desert means that, technically, the desert touches portions of California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. In fact, part of the Mojave Desert actually is within the city limits of Los Angeles. Even more interesting is that the Mojave Desert extends into Las Vegas. Even though the Mojave touches four states, it is still the smallest desert inside the United States.
Portions of the Mojave Desert in California run right through the grounds of Edwards Air Force Base. Home to many training flights, U.S. military training operations and the legendary site of Chuck Yeager's first supersonic flight; the Mojave Desert is an odd addition to the secure compound that is home to air manoeuvres performed by the United States Air Force, NASA and private pilots with special clearance.
The Sound of Sand Dunes
The singing sand dunes located throughout the Mojave Desert have been discussed for many years. The sound that the air makes as it crosses and transverses the sand dunes resembles singing. The sound itself is hard to put into words; however, many a traveller through the Mojave Desert has tried explaining the siren song associated with the dunes.
Even though the Mojave is a desert, one interesting fact is that the location of the desert is directly under the ridge and rain line that extends from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Because of this, the conditions surrounding the Mojave can be, at times, quite humid, moist and misty. This is in contrast to how a desert is typically viewed.