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The Badain Jaran Desert occupies parts of China and Inner Mongolia covering an area of 49,000 sq. kilometers making it the third largest desert in China. Although not a lot of people are familiar with this desert, outside China, it is known for having the tallest stationary dunes on earth. Some of these dunes have been measured to reach heights of more than 500 meters. Badain Jaran has an extremely arid climate with an annual precipitation between 50-60mm. Nearly 40-80 times of the precipitation gets evaporated away before it falls as rainfall.

Despite these dry conditions, one of the most remarkable feature of Badain Jaran is the existence of nearly 140 permanent lakes that lie between the dunes. It’s these lakes that give the desert its name which in Mongolian means "mysterious lakes".

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