Just when you thought 2016 couldn't possibly have any more wild cards up its sleeve, it starts snowing.....in the desert.
For the first time in 37 years, the typically dry red dunes are displaying a dusting of glimmering snow. And one lucky man was there to witness it! Amateur photographer Karim Bouchetata took the incredible pictures of snow covering the sand in the small Saharan desert town of Ain Sefra in Algeria, on December 19th.
“Everyone was stunned to see snow falling in the desert; it is such a rare occurrence,” Bouchetata told British media.
The Sahara is the largest hot desert on the planet, spanning 3,600,000 sq. mi. over a number of north African countries– namely, Algeria, Chad, Libya, Mali and Morocco.
“It looked amazing as the snow settled on the sand and made a great set of photos. The snow stayed for about a day and has now melted away," said Bouchetata.
Reports suggest it is only the second time in living memory snow has fallen in one of the most hostile environments on Earth. The last recorded time snow was seen in Ain Sefra, where the Atlas mountains meet the Sahara desert, was on February 18, 1979 and the snow storm lasted a mere half an hour, according to Live Science.
The Sahara isn't the only place it snowed in the MENA region this winter; it also snowed earlier in Syria, Saudi, Palestine, Israel and Jordan.
Is Egypt next? It is going to be a white Christmas after all? The temperatures sure indicate so!
By Salma Thanatos Rizk