The Namib – translated as “the place where nothing is” – is the oldest desert in the world, dating back 12 to 20 million years. The sand dunes, which today characterize a large part of the Namib, are estimated to be about one to two million years old.
At sunrise and sunset, they glow in all shades of red, from bright orange-red to a very dark brown-red – very similar to the surface of the planet Mars, by the way. The reason for this is the oxidation of iron, i.e. rust.
This scenery looks even more extraterrestrial in contrast to the white salt and clay pan with the up to 850 years old camel thorn trees of the Deadvlei preserved there in the dryness.