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Old Comments:

2010-04-03 07:17:05
All true..and yet..the area was inhabited by humans for perhaps thousands of years before the arrival of the Spaniards. And back in the 19th century Chile, Bolivia and Peru actually fought a war over the God-forsaken place. It was called the Saltpeter War, since that valuable mineral ( potassium nitrate ) was the source of the conflcit. Also..a better translation of 'hongo' into idiomatic English would be 'mushroom.'
2010-04-03 06:38:23
This photo is of "El Hongo" rock in the valley of the moon, "valle de la luna", in the Atacama desert of Chile. The Atacama desert is the driest desert in the world and in fact some weather stations there have never received rainfall in recorded history. As a whole the desert receives only 0.04" inches of rain per year. El Hongo translates literally to "the fungus" in English.