I am massive, extend across most of the northern third of Africa, lie in fourteen African countries and receive almost no precipitation.  

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You may have heard my name but forgot about me.  You can't miss me on a satellite image.  I am called the "great desert" in Arabic.  The translation: Sahara.  I am the third largest desert in the world.  Only Antarctica and the Arctic cover more land area than me.  I could fit the entire United States within my sand and still have extra real estate.  I have been an important spot in history, from the great Nile River civilizations on my eastern side to the vast trade networks that made empires wealthy in the west.  As a desert, I have been expanding since 1600 BC when temperatures in my neighborhood started to climb.  This was caused by a shift in the Earth's axis and resulted in less rainfall.  I am the Sahara Desert.

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