Salar de Uyuni can be described as the biggest salt flat on Earth; a stunning geographical feature that formed naturally across more than 10,500 square kilometers of land on a high plateau in Bolivia, South America. The salt pans occurred as a result of several bodies of water that evaporated thousands of years ago, leaving behind an incredibly important salt flat that houses the world's largest supply of lithium. Salar de Uyuni is a popular tourist attraction that offers some of the most stunning views in the world. Despite the fact that the salt flat harbors little wildlife or vegetation, over the years it has become a breeding ground for pink flamingos!
Check out interesting facts and information about Salar de Uyuni with our fact file for kids. Discover important facts about the total size, location, unique features, flatness, elevation, climate, vegetation, animals, birds and incredible features such as the mirror effect that attracts tourists and photographers from across the world to capture epic pictures of the spectacular Salar de Uyuni.
Interesting Facts for Kids 1: Where is Salar de Uyuni located?
Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world, it is located in Bolivia on the continent of South America, high up in the Andes mountain range in the south-western region of Daniel Campos, Potosi.
Interesting Facts for Kids 2: Salar de Uyuni size
Salar de Uyuni is a huge salt flat that spans across approximately 4,086 square miles / 10,582 square kilometers of Bolivia's land. The total area size of Bolivia is estimated at 1,098,581 km sq. It is a very big country with an estimated population of 10,985,000 people.
Interesting Facts for Kids 3: What is Salar de Uyuni?
The Salar de Uyuni, also known as Salar de Tunupa, is a remarkable geographical feature known as a salt pan or salt flat. This particular salt flat is in fact the largest on Earth and it was formed as a result of prehistoric lakes that evaporated thousands of years ago. Salt flats occur naturally over time when surface water that ceases to drain, evaporates and leaves behind salt and minerals.
Interesting Facts for Kids 4: How did Salar de Uyuni form?
Several prehistoric lakes, including Lago Minchin, once existed in the region of Daniel Campos, Potosi and it is from these bodies of water, that the Salar de Uyuni formed over time. When the lakes dried up, they left behind a remarkably flat salt pan, situated on a plateau high up in the Andes Mountains at approximately 3,656 meters above sea level. One of the most amazing facts about the Salar de Uyuni is that its flatness means that its elevation ranges within less than 1 meter.
Interesting Facts for Kids 5: What animals live in Salar de Uyuni?
Despite the conditions of the Salar de Uyuni, the salt flat is in fact home to around 80 different species of bird. Although other types of wildlife are scarcely found living, the viscacha and the Andean fox manage to survive its harsh environment which lacks food and regular temperatures. Both visiting and migrating birds are attracted to the area, and in particular, species of flamingo such as the pink flamingo.
Interesting Facts for Kids 6: What plants grow in Salar de Uyuni?
Vegetation barely exists across the area as the salt pans fail to offer adequate growing conditions required for most types of plants. However, some plants are particularly robust and can be found growing in this area, such plants include the giant cacti, Thola, Quinoa and Pilaya.
Interesting Facts for Kids 7: What is the climate like in Salar de Uyuni?
The climate of the Salar de Uyuni can be described as cold at night, and warm during the day with low rainfall. Night time temperatures range from -9 to 5 degrees Celsius, and daytime temperatures from around 13 to 21 degrees Celsius. Precipitation is low throughout the year, except for January when around 0.7cm of rain can be expected to fall across the area.
Interesting Facts for Kids 8: What elements can be found in Salar de Uyuni?
Another amazing fact about the Salar de Uyuni is that it contains around 50 - 70 percent of the world's entire lithium reserves. It also contains high quantities of other vital elements including sodium, magnesium and potassium. Lithium is important as it is extracted and used as a major component in various types of electric batteries.
Interesting Facts for Kids 9: Salar de Uyuni mirror effect
Salar de Uyuni is one of Bolivia's major tourist attractions. Visitors can enjoy the remarkable views that this geographical feature has to offer, and can even stay in one the resort's amazing hotels made from salt blocks from the Salar de Uyuni. The landscape can be described as simply breathtaking and boasts mirrored views that occur across the salt flats, offering photographers the perfect place to capture some of the most stunning views on Earth.
Interesting Facts for Kids 10: When is the best time to visit Salar de Uyuni?
It's hard to say the best time of year to visit Salar de Uyuni as the dry season offers an incredible experience not to be missed, however, between the months of February and April, a few inches of water typically covers the surface of Salar de Uyuni turning it into a mirror that reflects the skies above it; the spectacular mirror effect makes it difficult to see where the sky ends and begins!
Interesting Facts for Kids 11: Tourist attractions in Salar de Uyuni
Another interesting tourist attraction, located close to the salt pans, is the train cemetery whose rail lines were built during the 19th century by British railway engineers and were once used to transport minerals from the area. The abandoned trains are located approximately 3km from Salar de Uyuni.
Interesting Facts for Kids 12: Why is Salar de Uyuni important?
Bolivia is a developing country and Salar de Uyuni forms an important part of its economy which is supported by activities including mining, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and manufacturing textiles, clothing, refined metals, and refined petroleum. One of the country's main sources of income comes from its tourist industry and Salar de Uyuni attracts many visitors from across the world every year.