The loneliest ship of the desert

The loneliest ship of the desert

Ship? In the middle of the desert? I don’t really believe it. The discoverers of this miracle didn’t really believe it at first, but it’s true. Still, Africa continues to delight us, as does Namibia, because that’s where the wreck was found. You won’t see this anywhere else – the majestic prow of a real ship rises in the middle of howling sands and sandstorms. When you look at this miracle, you can imagine how some giant or wizard brought it here, into the heart of the desert. And it seems that it is a mirage, but the sight is quite real, you can even touch this ship in the middle of the desert with your hand. You can easily walk on the stern of the ship, blown out by winds and storms and sanded off by billions of grains of sand. This place gives you the strange feeling of being somewhere else in a parallel reality, where ships are sailing in a sea of sand and this one is just sitting on the reef.

This ship was built in 1891, and was quite a roomy vessel at the time, being able to carry about 2,000 tons of cargo. The ship was 310 pounds in length, and though apart from the capabilities of her holds, was no different from any other ship. Its resounding fame came very recently when the so-called bones of the ship were found. For because of the great fog, this cargo ship had managed to land on the reefs when this ship sailed from Germany to the port of Table Bay. But, having managed to wreck in 1909, the ship’s journey was halted. As they say, the Atlantic does not forgive mistakes, and so it was this time.


The ship itself was built by the shipbuilding company Blohm & Voss, once synonymous with quality in shipbuilding and marine engineering. Blohm & Voss was founded in 1877 by Hermann Blohm Voss and Ernst Voss. Even more, the company was one of the giants of German shipbuilding for 125 years, until 2002, so the quality of the ship they built can be talked about with certainty.

The ship was quite roomy because of its large holds, and often made its voyages from Hamburg. The problem was that the more voyages it made, the more often it got caught in the thick lead-gray mists near the shores of this life-hungry desert. The Namib Desert is a capricious lover, with a temperament that beckons and calls all the time, and then simply throws its prey to the mercy of fate, as if it were a tired lover.

The warmest ocean in the world


Once upon a time there was water where the ship’s body is now, and there was, as you understand, quite a lot of it – enough for a laden ship like the Edward Bollane to float back and forth calmly. Well, maybe not so calm because of the frequent fogs in the area, but they had plenty of water. And look what’s happened to this place now. Nothing but yellow sands. The years went by, and the ocean gradually receded day by day farther and farther away, leaving behind the hot sands on which this unfortunate and abandoned ship lies today, left to the Namib people. The desert has done the rest with this ship itself.

Some time after the wreck, the authorities had the desire to take the ship and, if not to put it back on the water, at least to free it from these shackles of the desert. But, it was never allowed to do so, for all attempts failed. For some reason, whenever she tried to tie the ship up with ropes and haul her away, they tore as if at the dictates of black magic. Well, we all know the people of Africa, by and large they are tribal natives. Even those who live in cities still believe in otherworldly forces. So after several futile attempts to steal the ship, people started whispering that magic was involved and that the desert just didn’t want to give up what was rightfully hers.

After such rumors surfaced, people simply began refusing jobs and offers. They left the place as if there was a plague. Besides this, it was said that none of the crew survived because of the curse that lay on the ship. And that now the spirits of the unfortunate men were hovering over the remains of their last resting place. After such legends, of course, the poor people of Namibia did not even want to go near this cursed place.

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And even today, despite the rather large popularity of the place, they don’t take tours there very willingly. So if you manage to find a guide, do not expect from them funny and interesting stories, most likely it will be fast and rather stingy excursion. This is why there is not much information online either. In addition, it was rumored that the ship was also carrying forbidden cargo. After all, in those days, gold cargoes were developed very quickly, which were common on the black continent. So there is a good chance that the ship was carrying just that gold when it landed on the reef. But, that is not known, nor is it known whether this gold was found by anyone or whether it was buried with the remains of the crew and the bones of this great fossil under the yellow burning sand of the desert.


Today the lonely, abandoned ship Edward Bolen lies far from the surf line, so if you want to get to it, you have to hike a few hundred yards across the scorching sand. The unfortunate ship is rusted and half covered in sand, but it continues to struggle against the elements and the desert, not wanting to just sink into the insatiable thickness of the desert. The ship towers over the sand as a mute reminder to all how deceptive and fleeting time is. And that there is no worse enemy – except the desert.

If you do decide to see the abandoned ship, then get ready to go far into the wilderness, because there is no accommodation nearby, only solid sand and almost never disappearing strip of fog, which killed Euard. The only place nearby where you can stay is Lüderice, a small town at the mouth of the Orange River.

In 2009, the 100th anniversary of the shipwreck was celebrated. This event was quite loudly celebrated by the authorities of the country. After that there were organized permanent excursions to the burial place of the ship.

The most famous ship in the desert

The most famous ship in the desert Description in the comments.

“The Edward Bolen was a German ship about 100 meters long that ran aground off the coast of the Namib Desert on September 5, 1909. The ship was built in Hamburg in 1891 and sailed from Hamburg to West Africa. However, the fast currents and thick fogs characteristic of the Namib Desert coast caused the disaster. Over time, the sea receded and the ship became a desert ghost. Attempts to rescue the grounded ship were unsuccessful: the steel cable broke while the Edward Bolen was being towed by a ship that came to the rescue. The passengers survived the accident safely and were evacuated. At present, the remains of the ship, rusted and partially covered with sand, lie a few hundred meters from the shoreline.

Volcano Kilimanjaro, geographic coordinates

Illustration to commentary

Here is the most famous in the former Soviet Union, about the one that you wrote in the Russian-speaking territory, no one knows, and this ship I remembered as soon as I read the title “The most famous ship in the desert.

Hmm, there was a movie, with the same ship, there g.h. was hiding from helicopters and jeeps, and at the end of a helicopter with a cannon with a bursting ball)

Illustration to commentary

wrong whitebada Oops, wanted to karocha put a picture with a cookie “Let’s show who’s wrong” but the picture does not insert ((

In any movie about a treasure hunt was similar only the ship was floating upriver laden with gold

League of movie buffs save the day!

Put at least a link to the source and then more than 90 percent sure that nicked whence-nibut, probably worldfaktov

I think the most famous ship in the desert is Charlie Black and Ally’s ship. :) Everybody knows it, I think. :)

There’s either incorrect name, or the author is wrong) because the most famous ship is the “Titanic”) all in my opinion will agree. Well, “The most famous ship in the desert,” yes it definitely is, because it’s the only one there).

How thick is the sand layer in the desert?

Many people strongly associate the word “desert” with sand dunes, stretching as far away as the horizon. Deserts cover 33% of the Earth’s land mass. If you do not count the Arctic and Antarctic deserts, you get a figure of 14.2%. Directly sandy deserts make up only 1/5 of this number, so that about 4.26 million km on our planet are occupied by sands. This is comparable to the area of the European Union, or 1/4 of the area of Russia.

How thick is the layer of sand in the desert? Desert, Sand, Sahara, Longpost

Deserts are several million to tens of millions of years old. During this time, the destruction of rocks under the influence of wind and strong temperature variations (which is characteristic of deserts) has led to the appearance of ergs – vast areas dotted with sand dunes. Beneath them, as a rule, there is stony rock or cracked clay. But what is the thickness of the sand layer in the ergs?

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There is no simple answer to this question. The depth of sand varies greatly from place to place. Within the Sahara, there are areas where there are no dunes at all, and the thickness of the sand layer is only 1 – 5 cm (Selima Sand Shield in southern Egypt).

The Selima Sand Shield

How thick is the layer of sand in the desert? Desert, Sand, Sahara, Longpost

In other parts of the Sahara sand goes to a depth of 21 – 43 meters, and if you measure being on top of one of the dunes, it may get the value of 300 meters or more. The average thickness of sand in the Sahara, according to the results of remote sensing of the Earth is considered to be 3.6 meters.

In the Simpson Desert in Australia, the sand is no thicker than 1 meter. In South Africa’s Namibe, the oldest desert on Earth (more than 55 million years old), the dunes can be up to 380 meters high, but if you measure the thickness of the sand layer at their base, it is from 10 to 30 meters. All these are rather modest figures by the standards of the Mesozoic or Paleozoic: then the depth of sand in ergs reached several hundred meters.

In our time, the greatest thickness of sand will show measurements on the tops of the dunes, whose height sometimes exceeds 1 km. Such dunes, like mountains, are given separate names. The highest dune on the planet is Federico Kirbus in Argentina – 1230 meters from the base to the top. In second place is the Cerro Blanco dune in Peru with 1176 meters, the slopes of which are popular with tourists and fans of sandboarding.

Dune Federico Kirbus (in the background)

How thick is the layer of sand in the desert? Desert, Sand, Sahara, Longpost

View from the Cerro Blanco dune

How thick is the layer of sand in the desert? Desert, Sand, Sahara, Longpost

Sandy sand

Sand Sand Comics, Translation, Wulffmorgenthaler, Dune, Sand, Desert, Excursion, Movies

How thick is the sand layer in deserts?

How thick is the sand layer in deserts? Desert, Sand, Thickness

Deserts are sandy, stony, clayey, and solonchaky, occupying 14% of the entire land surface, and together with the arctic (glaciers), all 20%.

It is known that every desert has a beginning and an end, but few have thought about its depth.

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What lies beneath the vast sands, and how deep do they go underground?

How do deserts form?

All major deserts are located near the 30th degree of both southern and northern latitude. Such a condition was not created by chance.

Any wind blows from a less heated surface to a more heated one. The trade winds blowing from the 30th latitude toward the equator are no exception. At the center, the north trade wind meets the south trade wind and, under their counter-pressure, the air begins to rise to the top.

Given that the paths of the trade winds mostly pass over the oceans, where they absorb evaporating moisture, all this steam will begin to accumulate over the equator. Eventually, clouds thicken over the region and torrential rain pours down on the land, bringing all the water accumulated by the winds back.

From then on, the emptied air masses, which have become dry, are pushed out by the new rising air toward the poles. This air flow is called the antipassat.

By the 30th latitude, the dry air will begin to descend, warming by one degree every 100 meters downward and becoming even drier. There is no moisture in such air, it does not carry clouds with it, and therefore it almost never rains here.

This circulation of air was formed hundreds of thousands of years ago, which caused the land to dry out completely during this time. Deserts were formed.

How thick is the desert?

The thickness of the sands is not constant. In each region the figures differ and change depending on the territorial winds and the movement of sand dunes.

However, we know that the average thickness of the sands of the Sahara Desert is 150 meters, Gobi Desert – 200 meters, Libyan Desert – 300 meters, the Namib Desert – from 200 to 400 meters.

Directly beneath the sands there is a rocky surface.

In addition, the subsoil beneath the sands harbors vast deposits of a variety of resources. Also in the Sahara, at a depth of 150 to 500 meters the largest artesian water basin in the world was discovered.

The subsoil of the Namib desert is rich in diamonds, tungsten and uranium ores, the Arabian sands in oil and gas, etc.

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