These Amazing Sand Dunes Are Filled With Natural Oases
These freshwater desert pools are no mirage.
No you’re not imagining it – those impossibly blue oases are really there. Take another look…
Hidden within the ridges of the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Brazil you will find a collection of freshwater that pools within the dunes of the sandy white desert.
As if it were out of some kind of parallel world, the rain water doesn’t filter down through the sand after a downpour, but rather it sits there in these fresh blue ponds thanks to a sealed rock layer below the surface. As a result you get these super awesome natural pools that feel like your very own private desert oasis.
The valleys start fill around the January to June period and are at their fullest around September. Fish from surrounding rivers can migrate through when the water levels reach high enough to cut through to the rivers. There’s even a species of fish that lies dormant in the sand and the muddy areas in the dry season, only to reemerge when the lagoons appear. Oddly creepy, but seriously cool.
Lençóis Maranhenses is about a two day drive from Rio de Janeiro, so you will have certainly earned a little dip in this not-really-a-desert desert oasis.
(Lead image: Danielle Pereira/Flickr)