Calanshio Sand Sea

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The Calanshio Sand Sea (Sarīr Kalanshiyū ar Ramlī al Kabīr[1]) is a sand desert region located in the Libyan Desert, of the Kufra District in Cyrenaica, eastern Libya. It has a surface of approximately 62,000 km².[2][3] The erg extends from Jaghbub and Jalo in the north to Kufra in the south, a distance of 500km.

The erg lies parallel to the Egyptian Sand Sea and is contiguous with it at their northern ends. They contain dunes up to 110m in height: these lie in a roughly north-south direction and were created by the wind.

The Calanshio Sand Sea is the site of the missing World War II B-24 Liberator "Lady Be Good". The wreck was discovered 200 km (120 mi) north of Kufra 15 years after it was reported missing in 1943. The crew bailed out believing they were over the sea, when their plane ran out of fuel, and they became lost. When they landed in the Libyan Desert they could feel a northwesterly breeze. Thinking they were near the Mediterranean, they headed into the wind hoping it would lead them to safety. However, they were more than 640 km inland from the Mediterranean, and slowly died from dehydration after covering 130 km with minimal water in a place so dry even the desert Bedouins refuse to enter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sarīr Kalanshiyū ar Ramlī al Kabīr can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3168482" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database"., National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  2. ^ Desert Geomorphology, p. 403
  3. ^ African Relics (Calanshio Sand Sea and "Lady Be Good") Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine.

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