It has a total area of 200,000 km2 (77,000 sq. miles), which makes it is the world's 9th largest subtropical desert. It is bordered by the Indus River plain, the Aravalli Range, and the Punjab plain. The origin of the desert has long been disputed, some saying its 4,000 years old others 1,000,000.
The desert is divided in three regions: Sand Covered That, Plains and Hills. Stretches of sand in the desert are interspersed by hillocks, gravel, salt marshes and a few lakes. Due to the diverse habitat and ecosystem, the vegetation and animal life in this desert is very rich compared to other deserts. 23 species of lizard and 25 species of snakes live in this arid region.
The Great Indian Desert is mainly inhabited, with 40% of Rajasthan living here. Their main occupation is agriculture and animal stock breeding. Other deserts have a population density of 7 people per square kilometer, while Thar has a density of 83 people per square kilometer, making it the most populated desert in the world.
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