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Singing Sand Dunes

China, an East Asian country is one of the world’s oldest civilizations. It has a vast cultural history of more than five thousand years and an outstanding natural beauty. On the other hand, this country has remained a comparatively isolated and secluded one, and being a land of mystery, this country is not known to the western half of the world. However, China is rapidly developing and has grown in the phase of modernization, with an immense speed and is also welcoming the outer world to interact and do business with them.
The Singing Sand Dunes are located 3 kilometers or 2 miles outside Dunhuang and offer idyllic views of sand dunes and desert landscape. Marco Polo in the 13th Century said the singing sands, which he ascribed to evil desert spirits, at times fill the air with the sounds of all kinds of musical instruments, and also of drums and the clash of arms.
Certain sand dunes will occasionally let out a loud, low-pitch rumble that lasts up to 15 minutes and can be heard up to 6 miles or 10 kilometers away. Some dunes are known to do it regularly, even daily large crescent-shaped dunes, or barchans, which spontaneously sings all year long, sometimes two or three times an afternoon, if windy enough.
Wind forces sand to accumulate at the top of the dune until the angle of the slope reaches a tipping point of about 35 degrees. The eventual avalanche of sand at a relatively slow speed of about 130 feet per second or 40 meters per second makes the face of the dune act like a huge loudspeaker and the waves on the surface producing the bellowing noise sound in the air. The sand must be sufficiently dry for the singing to occur. For smaller barchans, the sand must also be hot and the wind still. A small dune sings only the few days in which there is no wind and no clouds so that the Sun can dry efficiently the slip face. Camels make traveling up the dunes slightly easier and the views of the oasis at Dunhuang and the desert are spectacular.
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