Destinations by DES - Desislava Panteva Photography/Getty Images
Caitlin Gallagher
December 21, 2016 1:47 pm

When you think of the Sahara Desert, snow most certainly doesn’t come to mind. Yet, just in time for the holidays, snow fell on the Sahara Desert. It’s a Christmas miracle! Or, much more likely, climate change. Either way, the photos of snow on the Sahara in Aïn Séfra, Algeria are stunning to see since snow is always wonderful to look upon.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Aïn Séfra is located in the Saharan Atlas Mountains in the west of Algeria. And amateur photographer Karim Bouchetata was there to capture this magical weather moment in his hometown of Aïn Séfra.

While some of his photos just showed a small sprinkling of snow:

Others highlighted how magnificent the red mounds of sand looked with the ice crystal precipitation:

Most news sources are saying this is the first time that snow has fallen on the Sahara since 1979 — 37 years ago! — yet, that might not be completely true. Live Science reports that on February 18th, 1979, snow did indeed fall on the Sahara in southern Algeria. Yet, that was the FIRST time that snow was recorded on the Sahara — not necessarily the LAST time.

Gizmodo reported that Bouchetata told them that snow falling in his town is “an exceptionally rare occurrence.” Yet, Gizmodo also reported there were dustings of snow in the area in 2005 and 2012.

Still, snow on the Sahara Desert is most certainly not an everyday sighting and perhaps this is the most it has ever stuck to the red sand.

After Tokyo’s rare snowfall this year and now the Sahara, 2016 has been the year of snow in unexpected places.

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