A legend relates that the immense dunes of Erg Chebbi were created by God to punish the inhabitants of the nearby city of Merzouga who had refused hospitality to a woman and her small child during a local festival. God therefore brought about a huge sandstorm that destroyed the village and in its place remained the dunes.

Of all the various forms that the desert can present, that of Erg, although it is only a tenth of the total area of the Sahara, is without doubt the most fascinating. The immense, sandy desert is created by the crumbling of rocks caused by sharp temperature changes between night and day. In turn, the sand, pushed by the strength of the wind, erodes the rocks encountered on its powerful flight.

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