Takla Makan Desert, Xinjiang
Takla Makan Desert Pictures
In Uigur language, Takla Makan means 'you can get into it but can never get out' and the desert has another name 'the Sea of Death'. The desert is regarded as being very powerful among the people; no wonder the name connotes fear. But there was an interesting legend about its origin. It was said that there was a Supernatural Being, who saw the hardship being faced by the people in this area and thought that he could help them by using the two magic objects in his possession namely the golden axe and the golden key. He gave his golden axe to the Kazakh, so they split the mountain Altai and diverted water from the mountains to the fields. The Supernatural Being planned to give the golden key to the Uigur so that they could open the door of the treasure-house of the Tarim Basin, but unfortunately his youngest daughter lost the key. This angered him so much that he held her a captive in the Tarim Basin and thus the Takla Makan Desert was formed.
Continuous sand dunes in this large Takla Makan Desert are usually over 100 meters high (over 109 yards) and some are even higher than 300 meters (about 328 yards). Because of the wind, the sand dunes are always moving forward and statistics suggests that each year they move about 150 meters (about 164 yards), which seriously threatens the existence of oasis and the survival of the local populace. For the past 50 years, the Chinese Government has made great effort to plant trees to reduce the encroachments of the sandstorms. With the help of experts, local people planted diversiform-leaved poplars, rose-willows, pomegranate trees, mulberries and built windbreak belts as corrective measures and in some places, people even cultivate corn. There is an improvement in the living condition of the local people, thanks to the increase in vegetation. Now there are over 80 species of birds' resident in the interior desert and the precipitation is increasing as well.
We strongly believe as time goes on, people will be more capable of conquering deserts and at the same time, make full uses of its rich natural resources for the benefit of humanity.