Sheep flock in the Gobi Desert
© Patrick Baz/Getty Image
Wandering desert flock. Nomads of the Gobi
The Gobi Desert stretches across 500,000 square miles, covering parts of northern China and southern Mongolia. Due to the Gobi’s high elevation and high latitude, it’s a cold desert. And while we tend to think of deserts as endless sand dunes, most of the Gobi’s topography is exposed rock.Despite these harsh conditions, the Gobi is teeming with life—some of it human. Nearly one third of the population in the Gobi Desert leads a pastoral nomadic life. Small communities of people drive their livestock herds—like the sheep seen in our photo today—across the landscape in search of fresh grazing territory. Both herds and herders rarely settle anywhere for long.