An otherworldly landscape in Tunisia Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the desert landscape of southwestern Tunisia.
The sandy terrain contrasts with the darker features of the large endorheic salt lake Chott el Djerid.
According to NASA, the crust of dried sediment, salt, and other evaporite minerals that make up the lakebed are part of what gives the opening desert scenes of the 1977 Star Wars movie, Episode IV: A New Hope, such an otherworldly feeling.
Tunisia, officially the Republic of Tunisia,is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, covering 163,610 square kilometres (63,170 square miles). Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is also the northernmost point on the African continent. Tunisia is bordered by Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisia’s population was 11.7 million in 2019. Tunisia’s name is derived from its capital city, Tunis (Berber native name: Tunest), which is located on its northeast coast.
Geographically, Tunisia contains the eastern end of the Atlas Mountains, and the northern reaches of the Sahara desert. Much of the rest of the country’s land is fertile soil. Its 1,300 kilometres (810 miles) of coastline include the African conjunction of the western and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Basin.
Tunisia is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic. It has an association agreement with the European Union; is a member of La Francophonie, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Arab Maghreb Union, the Arab League, the OIC, the Greater Arab Free Trade Area, the Community of Sahel–Saharan States, the African Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of 77; and has obtained the status of major non-NATO ally of the United States. In addition, Tunisia is also a member state of the United Nations and a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Close relations with Europe, in particular with France and with Italy, have been forged through economic cooperation, privatisation and industrial modernization.
Image Credit: NASA