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Atlas Obscura The Desert Shipwrecks of the Skeleton Coast

The Skeleton Coast is a strip of desolate, unforgiving earth; a place where parched desert dunes ripple toward the Atlantic Ocean. Sailors, having wrecked their vessels in the heavy fog that spills off the land most mornings, found themselves trading life at sea for a hot, hellish terrain.

One particular shipwreck feels like a fitting reminder of the coast’s foreboding loneliness. Trapped within a veil of thick fog, the Eduard Bohlen ran aground along Namibia’s Skeleton Coast on September 5th, 1909. The 310-foot-long cargo ship now lies partially buried beneath the sand, destined never to complete its journey from Swakopmund to Table Bay.

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World Heritage Site 2013
137.96km
Namib Sand Sea

Namib Sand Sea is the only coastal desert in the world that includes extensive dune fields influenced by fog. Covering an area of over three million hectares and a buffer zone of 899,500 hectares, the site is composed of two dune systems, an ancien…