One of the driest places on Earth is now blanketed with wildflowers after a surprise rainfall.
The Atacama Desert in northern Chile erupted in a colorful carpet of flowers earlier this month after an “intense and unexpected rain,” according to the BBC.
The flowering desert phenomenon usually happens every five to seven years, but this time the blooms come just two years after the previous “desierto florido.” The last display of flowers came after a flash flood in 2015 when the desert received two inches of rain in 24 hours.
Atacama is the driest place on Earth, outside of the North and South Poles. Typically, it only receives about a half-inch of rain per year.
Botanists have discovered more than 200 flower species in Atacama — several of which are unique to the area. Tourism officials told the BBC that they hope even more species of flower will bloom in the desert within the coming weeks.
The phenomenon typically only lasts until November. The colors of the blooms change every year, but this year tourists to the desert will be able to see fields of bright yellow, purple, and blue.
However tempting it may be, do not try to bring home souvenirs from the field. The blooms are protected by the government and it is strictly prohibited to pick any of the flowers.