“5,000 years ago the Sahara desert was home to people, animals, and lush vegetation”
As recently as 5,000 years ago, one of the world’s driest and most uninhabitable places, the Western Sahara desert, was home to a vast river system that would rank as the world’s 12th largest drainage basin if it existed today. French researchers have identified an ancient river system that they believe formed during humid spells that overtook the desert over the past 245,000 years, according to a study published this week in the journal, Nature Communications.
The Sahara could be home to life and vegetation again. The researchers estimate that the river system held water nine times over the past 200,000 years with periods of humidity and climate change occurring every 20,000 years.