See also: Takla Makan


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Alternative formsEdit


Most researchers agree on makan being the Persian word for "place", however the etymology of Takla is less clear. The word may be an Uyghur borrowing from the Persian tark, "to leave alone/out/behind, relinquish, abandon" + makan


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Particularly: “needs IPA”
  • enPR: täklämäkänʹ

Proper nounEdit


  1. A cold desert in Central Asia
    • 1980, Peter Hopkirk, Foreign Devils on the Silk Road[1], Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, published 1984, →ISBN, LCCN 83-24092, OCLC 10207988, pages 9-10:
      Surrounding the Taklamakan on three sides are some of the highest mountain ranges in the world, with the Gobi desert blocking the fourth. Thus even the approaches to it are dangerous. Many travellers have perished on the icy passes which lead down to it from Tibet, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Russia, either by freezing to death or by missing their foothold and hurtling into a ravine below. In one disaster, in the winter of 1839, an entire caravan of forty men was wiped out by an avalanche, and even now men and beasts are lost each year.
      No traveller has a good word to say for the Taklamakan. Sven Hedin, one of the few Europeans to have crossed it, called it ‘the worst and most dangerous desert in the world’. Stein, who came to know it even better, considered the deserts of Arabia 'tame' by comparison. Sir Percy Sykes, the geographer, and one-time British Consul-General at Kashgar, called it 'a Land of Death', while his sister Ella, herself a veteran desert traveller, described it as 'a very abomination of desolation'.
      Apart from the more obvious perils, such as losing one’s way and dying of thirst, the Taklamakan has special horrors to inflict on those who trespass there. In his book Buried Treasures of Chinese Turkestan, von Le Coq describes the nightmare of being caught in that terror of all caravans, the kara-buran, or black hurricane.
    • 2015, Catherine Matacic, “Carbon tomb buried deep under Chinese desert”, in Science[2]:
      According to the study, carbon-rich runoff from irrigation started seeping into saline aquifers under the Taklamakan nearly 5000 years ago, when humans first took hoe to the region. Since then, it has continued to collect.
    • 2022 May 12, Chan, Minnie, “Satellite images ‘suggest China is practising missile strikes on targets in Taiwan and Guam’”, in South China Morning Post[3], archived from the original on 12 May 2022:
      The Chinese military has refined its anti-ship missile training from striking large, carrier-sized targets to smaller ships and naval bases, according to recent satellite images.
      They show a training base in Xinjiang’s remote Taklamakan desert with the layout of mock-up ship moored in a naval base that resembles one in northeast Taiwan and other targets in Guam, according to a Taipei-based naval analyst.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:Taklamakan.



Further readingEdit