Most of you have possibly already seen a recent viral video floating on the Internet which looks like a fast flowing Sand River. The question is, ‘Is that river of sand even real?’ The truth is that it is nothing but an illusion.
The Sand River of Iraq is one of the many grand mysteries of Nature that often manifest themselves weird and unexplained phenomena. Iraq is a dry place which barely gets touched by rain. It is extremely hot and arid and deserts are a common sight.
Sand never moves in deserts in a way it is seen in the video. It is merely an illusion caused by a rapidly flowing stream of frozen water right through the desert. The question however is that if Iraq is a hot and dry place, where does the frozen water come from? The answer to this question lies with the unusual weather phenomenon that took place on November 16, 2015.
On that day, Iraq was suddenly hit by heavy rain and hail storms. The hails that landed down from the sky were as big as golf balls. However, the hailstorms of Iraq were not an isolated event. For a few weeks prior to that date, Iraq received heavy rainfall that led to significant damage and even led to death of 12 people. The rain also caused damage to areas of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Egypt.
About the hailstorm, it is said that the hailstorms took place somewhere upstream and in accordance with the nature of flash floods (water upstream moves very rapidly downstream to areas that do not receive rain, causing the rivers to appear in downstream areas that do not experience any rainfall), the hails or frozen water simply went flowing downstream across the desert. The fast moving hails created an illusion that the sand was moving at such speed and hence the name, Sand River.
It is true that the so called Sand River is really fascinating and a grand mystery of Nature because while hailstorms are really common in hilly areas, formation of flowing hail rivers is not really something we see on a daily basis, not even in the areas where hailstorms are common.