15

Imagine being on a ship in the middle of the ocean and in every direction you look, there is nothing on the horizon and everything you see is perfectly flat in every direction. Is there any desert (or other terrain) in the world that comes close to giving you that vista on land?

  • In other words, it wouldn't count if you could see sand dunes, even if all you see is sand in every direction? – Zach Lipton Jul 25 '17 at 20:41
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    Ross ice shelf maybe? No street view for some reason. – ugoren Jul 25 '17 at 21:00
  • Yeah, that ice shelf might be a good candidate. – BarrettNashville Jul 25 '17 at 21:01
  • Sand dunes kinda count, but not really since they aren't perfectly flat. – BarrettNashville Jul 25 '17 at 21:02
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    For a place reachable for tourists, I think Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is as good as it gets (of course, the other tourists aren't nothing). – ugoren Jul 25 '17 at 21:07
16

The Nullarbor in Australia might qualify:

enter image description here

(courtesy Nullarbor Roadhouse)

It's a huge, completely flat and virtually uninhabited plain. As the fake Latin name implies, there are "no trees", and there's nothing on the horizon either since there are no mountains nearby. There are, however, some scrubby bushes and grasses, so it's not entirely barren.

  • 10
    beat me to it. My father went on a bus trip years ago through it where the driver told everyone to look at a tree out the right hand side. Everyone dutifully looked, wondering what was special about it. The driver then said "right, that's the last thing you'll see for the next several hundred miles, you can go to sleep now". – Mark Mayo Jul 25 '17 at 22:55
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    That's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. Very interesting, thanks! – BarrettNashville Jul 26 '17 at 0:56
14

In Botswana the Makgadikgadi Pan qualifies, which is one of the largest salt flats in the world.

enter image description here

image source

Lying southeast of the Okavango Delta and surrounded by the Kalahari Desert, Makgadikgadi is technically not a single pan but many pans with sandy desert in between, the largest being the Sua (Sowa), Nwetwe and Nxai Pans. The largest individual pan is about 1,900 sq mi (4,921.0 km2). In comparison, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is a single salt flat of 4,100 sq mi (10,619.0 km2), rarely has much water, and is generally claimed to be the world's largest salt pan. A dry salty clay crust most of the year, the pans are seasonally covered with water and grass, and are then a refuge for birds and animals in this very arid part of the world. The climate is hot and dry but with regular annual rains.

9

There are places like that in Kazakhstan. Check http://welovemountains.net/cycling-east-part-18-aktau-riding-in-kazakhstan-pt1/ enter image description here

8

A lot of Saskatchewan is like that (photo from here). You can see just how flat it is from the topo maps. In some places it's yellow rapeseed (canola) to the horizons.

enter image description here

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