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Khongor Sand Dune

The direction and velocity of winds, in addition to the local supply of sand, result in a variety of dune shapes and sizes. Picturesque Khongor Sand dunes against a sky of blue or a full moon, with perfectly contoured shadows of ripples and undulating crests, have always been a favorite subject of photographers. Depending upon one's particular situation, sand dunes can be one of the most incredibly beautiful, thrilling, eerie, treacherous or just plain inhospitable places on earth. The Khongor Sand dunes range from 20 to 25km in width, nearly 100km long, with crests rising 80 to 300m above the surrounding landscape. Some of the earliest references about "acoustical" dunes are found in Chinese and Midwestern chronicles dating back more than 1500 years. Marco Polo described weird sounds on a journey through the Gobi Desert. One of the best places to observe booming dunes in the southern Mongolia is Khongor Sand dunes. The sounds have been variously described as singing, whistling, squeaking, roaring and booming. To stand before an enormous, gleaming white sand dune and realize that all of this was once an ancient lake bed or coastal plain is quite astonishing. The incredible roaring sounds of distant dunes is an unforgettable experience, particularly during the quiet hours of darkness and daybreak. Starting with the wind and tumbling particles of sand and culminating in picturesque drifts of rippled sand with an entire, dynamic, living community of plants and animals; this is one of nature's most remarkable cycles, and it is truly a phenomenon of wind.