• Credit:

    Jeff Schmaltz

The Skeleton Coast of Namibia is featured in this image acquired on April 4, 2006. The Skeleton Coast is considered to be one of the most desolate and remote regions in the world. It takes its name from the numerous shipwrecks that have occurred in the turbulent waters and heavy fog that occurs at the confluence of the cold waters of the Atlantic and Antarctic, stranding survivors among rugged sand dunes and rocky canyons. This narrow tract of desert on the coast measures about 500 kilometers (310 miles) in length and ranges from 30 to 40 kilometers (20-25 miles) in width. Most of the rest of Namibia is high plateau, bracketed by the Namib Desert along the western coastal region and the Kalahari Desert in east (located on the right side of the image near the borders with Botswana and South Africa). Several National Parks are also visible, beginning with a small piece of Skeleton Coast National Park in the far upper left corner, Sossusvlei and Namib Naukluft further south along the coast, and Fish River Canyon, inland near the southern border with South Africa, providing protection for Namibia’s abundant wildlife, including seals, several antelope species, zebras, giraffes, black rhinos, lions, and elephants.

Images & Animations


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  • 337x360
  • JPEG 127 KB
  • 1000x1400
  • JPEG 483 KB
  • 2000x2800
  • JPEG 2 MB
  • 4000x5600
  • JPEG 4 MB

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  • Data Date:

    April 4, 2006
  • Visualization Date:

    April 6, 2006
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration