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Chile’s Atacama desert: World’s driest place in bloom after surprise rain

After intense and unexpected rain fell in the north of Chile, parts of the usually arid Atacama desert have turned into a carpet of flowers.

The “desierto florido” (flowering desert) phenomenon usually occurs every five to seven years when rains cause buried seeds to germinate and flower.

But this bloom comes just two years after a a particularly colourful flowering in 2015.

More than 200 species of plant have been found to grow in the area.

The spectacle draws visitors and botanists from Chile and further afield.

Tourism officials said they hoped more flowers would bloom in the coming weeks as different species germinate at different times.

View of flowers in the Atacama Desert, Chile, on 17 August 2017
View of flowers in the Atacama Desert, Chile, on 17 August 2017.
View of flowers in the Atacama Desert, Chile, on 17 August 2017.
View of flowers in the Atacama Desert, Chile, on 22 August 2017
A handout photo made available by RallyZone shows Chilean Pablo Quintanilla participating in the third stage of the Atacama Rally, between Taltal and Mejillones, Chile, 16 August 2017.

Read more at BBC.co.uk

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