Sand river

Desert sand

One of the strangest phenomena that went viral around the world was that of sand river. And it is that it is a rather particular river since it does not carry water, but sand. There were many theories about this phenomenon and what was its possible origin. It happened in Iraq and through a video that went viral all over the world. Many people said it was part of a kind of apocalypse since it is something out of the ordinary.

In this article we are going to tell you what the authentic origin is and what characteristics the river of sand has.

Strange weather phenomenon

The Iraq region stands out for a dry climate where they have a large amount of sandy soil. Where this phenomenon happened was the Rub al Khali desert, famous for being the largest sand desert on the entire planet. This strange phenomenon of nature was captured by a video fan and in a matter of days the video went viral all over the world. In the video you can see a strange phenomenon of nature where you can see how a river of sand flows in the middle of the desert.

Obviously this type of strange natural phenomenon captures the attention of all the locals since it seems something outside the natural limits. When there is a sand storm in a desert, it usually travels several kilometers due to the strong wind. However, if we observe the video we can see that there is hardly any wind and how the sand flows through the bed of a river as if it were a fluid. Can this phenomenon be real?

The reality of the river of sand

Sandy river in Alberche

To the question of whether this phenomenon can be real or not, you have to say no. What is really flowing like a river is not the sand but a good handful of boulders of hail. The video can be seen as one of the witnesses of this river of sand reaches his hand in the current and removes what appears to be a handful of hail.

And it is that at that time different weather patterns of the most unusual were recorded, which included hail. We must bear in mind that the Middle East area is drier and does not usually have this kind of strange phenomenon. The region where this river of sand was found stood out for having a dry climate. However, it was hit by a terrible rain and heavy storm that caused hail the size of golf balls to fall. Because the weather is totally extreme, all citizens were alerted to the danger of damage from these storms.

It was already after the storm when the river of sand and unexpected was seen. The true reality of this river is what is under the current. What actually looks like a continuous flow of sand similar to the conditions of a river is ice. In the desert they met huge blocks of ice that will move rapidly across the entire Middle East. And it is that the size of the hail balls was so large that it moved continuously while it was thawing. The river of sand is nothing more than a large number of hailstones moving along the river.

How the river of sand was formed

What originally spread virally like a river of sand in Saudi Arabia was not completely like that. The first thing is that it was not in Saudi Arabia, but in Iraq. At the end of 2015, torrential rains and very strong hail storms were suffered throughout the country where the most normal thing is that the heat is very intense even at that time of year. All tributaries and streams dumped their contents in hailstones over the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. That the flows will increase and they will drag all these hail balls at the same time that they were melting due to the high temperatures.

As these hailstones were flowing through sandy areas, they had the color of sand. If you observe it from a distance, you can see that it looks like a river of sand and that it is what it is made of. However, once you get close to this continuous flow and put your hand in you can see that they are balls of hail.

These extreme meteorological phenomena are occurring with increasing frequency intensity due to global environmental problems such as climate change. This phenomenon that was experienced in Iraq was also accompanied by one of the hottest summers that led temperatures up to 52 degrees in Baghdad.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the formation and origin of the sand river.


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  1.   Carmen said

    Who has written this article is aware that the desert you mention is not in Iraq? The Rub al Khali is a desert in the south of the Arabian peninsula, and extends through Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen and the Emirates.
    So something is not correct in article….

  2.   edgar m cruz said

    How the hailstones were canlized to flow by a single pipe or two that is Tigris and Euphrates