Glass Bottle in the Atacama Desert

January 06, 2022


Photographer: Malcolm Park

Summary Author: Malcolm Park

Several years ago, I was on a guided tour of the Atacama Desert during a meteorite hunt when we came across this beautiful violet bottle. It was an old, weathered glass bottle and looked like it had been left in the desert for years if not more. We had no real evidence of how long it had been sitting in the desert, but it seemed to all of us that the glass had been stained by the high levels of UV radiation that is present in this harsh environment. The elevation is about 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) and the weather is always sunny with high to extreme UV conditions and no clouds or moisture in the air. In fact, the Atacama Desert is known for being the driest, hottest desert on Earth with several weather stations never reporting precipitation.

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