The Area of Exploration
The Nefud is a desert in the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula at 28.30°N 41.00°E occupying a great oval depression. It is 290 kilometres (180 mi) long and 225 kilometres (140 mi) wide, with an area of 103,600 square kilometres (40,000 sq mi).MEET THE TEAM >
The Nefud is a sand sea (erg) and is noted for its sudden violent winds, which account for the large crescent-shaped dunes. The sand in the Nefud is a brick-reddish colour and rain only comes once or twice a year. In some lowland areas, namely those near the Hejaz Mountains, there are oases where dates, vegetables, barley, and fruits are grown.
The Arabian peninsula and the Nefud were the gateway for the human expansion out of Africa multiple times over the past 400,000 years ago.
This was made possible by a shift to a wetter climate, creating green corridors in the region. Recent archaeological and paleoclimatic studies show that these hominid migrations led to the formation of civilisations in the region.
“The Sun’s Anvil” is an area of the north west Nefud where the sun relentlessly beats down on a vast plain of white sand. Because of the heat, glare and lack of available water, the local Bedouins consider the Anvil as impossible to cross by camel in the daytime,. This remote, mystical area is characterised by the mirage and sand-devils conjured from the land by the rising breeze.