Travel somewhere new in 2018

The Atacama desert in Chile, widely referred to as the world’s driest desert, is currently experiencing a truly breathtaking phenomenon. After surprise heavy rainstorms showered the region, thousands of colorful flowers bloomed to blanket its surface. 

The climate is so dry in the Atacama that scientists use it as a way to gain insight about what life and living conditions might be possible on Mars, according to Reuters. 

This stunning scene is referred to as desierto florido or flowering desert, and it typically only happens every five to seven years. However, the last time was in 2015, when the region saw the equivalent of seven years of rain in 12 hours, the Weather Channel reported.

This time, heavy rains hit in mid-August, prompting seeds in the ground to germinate. 

Here’s what the landscape typically looks like:

And here’s what it looks like covered in 200 different types of flowers, which tourism officials believe will grow even more in the coming weeks:

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