The Sahara is the world's largest hot desert and one of the harshest
environments on the planet. It is third largest desert overall after
Antarctica and the Arctic, which are cold deserts.
At 3.6 million square miles (9.4 million square kilometers), the
Sahara, which is Arabic for "The Great Desert," engulfs most of North
Africa. The desert covers large sections of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya,
Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia.