2013: Enigmas in Empty Places: Haunted Deserts

By Scott Corrales One does not immediately associate the concept of deserts with Brazil – our mental images of the South American giant immediately take us to the jungle greenery of the Amazon or to the bright pleasures of Rio de Janeiro. However, the South American superpower extensive coastal deserts ‘complete with sand dunes’ in the northern region of Maranhao, once known to be the wealthiest part of this Portuguese possession (so wealthy, in fact, that a Portuguese monarch was willing to abdicate his crown as long he was able to keep control over Maranhao). Located between the Mangueira and Parnaìba deserts, the vast sand dunes are contained within the Lencois Maranhenses National Park and aerial photography shows the sand encroaching on the surrounding vegetation, like a stain of white ink on a green tablecloth. This is not surprising, as the Maranhao dunes stand a staggering thirty meters tall […] Read More