The Strange Beauty of Sandstorms

Powerful winds recently drove sand from the Sahara Desert across the Mediterranean Sea into southern Europe and as far as the ski slopes in Sochi, Russia, turning skies red and leaving behind orange-frosted snow. Dust storms range from the size of a tiny dust devil, to a cloud that might cover a continent. In dry regions, strong winds can suddenly create a “haboob,” a rolling wall of sand or dust that rises thousands of feet in the air, blanketing an area ahead of a storm. Some storms can whip particles high into the atmosphere for days, carrying sand across oceans. Gathered here are images from recent years of dust storms, sandstorms, haboobs, and the eerie skies that accompany these phenomena.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Juan Oliphant / oneoceandiving.com / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Ice Disk, Pet Blessings, Presidential Burgers

    Teachers on strike in Los Angeles, “Kiss a Ginger Day” in Ireland, a terror attack in Nairobi, fashion shows in Berlin and Paris, the “No Pants Subway Ride” in New York, and much more

  • Ricardo Mazalan / AP

    Photos From the 2019 Dakar Rally

    On January 7, a group of 334 competitors began the 41st annual Dakar Rally: a punishing 10-day, 3,000-mile race across the Peruvian desert.

  • Ilya Terentyev / Getty

    Built to Separate: Border Barriers Around the World

    As more and more walls are built along borders worldwide, a look at some famous and some lesser-known barriers across the globe.

  • Costfoto / Barcroft Media via Getty

    Photos of the Week: Denver Longhorns, Camel Shaving, Hero Pups

    Heavy snow across Central Europe, a partial solar eclipse in China, a Transformer on the streets of Bogota, the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Christmas fire in Saint Petersburg, and much more