This fascinating book describes the geological makeup and history of the Atacama Desert in Chile. One of the driest areas of the world—some parts never receive any rain—the desert's climate can be cold, sometimes producing snow and fog. Readers will be fascinated to learn that the Atacama's soil is so similar to soil samples from Mars that NASA goes to this desert to test its exploration instruments. NASA has also set up its Earth-Mars Cave Detection Program in the Atacama, too. Special sections also describe the desert's natural resources and unique problems facing this region, as well as the people, plants, and animals that inhabit this desert habitat.