I started watching a new Netflix documentary series this weekend called ‘Connected’. The series is a fascinating look in to how seemingly unrelated events are actually pretty much related. One of the episodes talks about Saharan desert and the seemingly harmless dust. I always thought of dust as a nuisance. In our homes, or on the roads… Always getting in your eyes, ears and nose, always making you sneeze. Worthless piece of………… dust!
But, turns out(surprise surprise!), it does a lot more in our environment and almost has a dedicated role to play in nature’s grand scheme of things!
The dust storms originate from the Sub-saharan desert which once was a huge lake called as ‘Lake MegaChad’. The lake dried up living hundreds of fossil remains and dead algae along with the dust leaving a white hazy smoke in the air. The dust from Sahara eventually travel through the Atlantic ocean and interact with the ocean hurricanes to supposedly stop some of their deadlier landfall to the cities in America. But one of the more surprising roles it has to play is to enrich the Amazon river basin with phosphorus.
Imagine the travel of all that dust crossing continents to save the Amazon basin! How much dust lands up in there? Approximations land it in and around 27 million tons reaching the Amazon to make the land fertile!
This just makes me believe nothing in this world is useless. Nature has a plan for everything. Not even dust!
On a side note, If you have Netflix you should definitely check out the TV Series!