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Deserts are regions of scanty rainfall. It can be a hot desert, like Sahara, temperate deserts like Gobi, or cold deserts like Patagonia. Most deserts are found on the western margins of the continents between \(20°\) and \(30°\) North and south latitudes.

These regions get an annual rainfall of less than \(25 cm\). The dry conditions of these deserts are due to effects of off-shore trade winds, interior location of the region, maritime influence, i.e. effect of cold currents etc.
Due to the scanty rainfall and arid conditions, these regions do not possess any vegetation. But this region is characterised by a special type of vegetation called Xerophytes or drought-resistant scrub. As the soil is sandy and saline, deserts remain agriculturally unproductive. Drought resistant bulbous cactithorny shrubs and bushes, date palms are found here.
Despite its inhospitable conditions, the desert has always been inhabited by different groups of people. Tribal people who live here practice a primitive lifestyle of food gathering and hunting. They lead a nomadic life, moving their temporary settlements frequently in search of pastures. Transportation becomes very difficult here and is carried on by camels. Reptiles like snakes, lizards, scorpions etc., are most commonly found here.
An Oasis is a fertile freshwater source found in deserts and semi-arid regions. Oases are fed by springs. It is a lush green area in the desert. Crops like date palms, figs, citrus fruits, maise etc., are cultivated in these oases.