Simply transporting ore across Morocco to the sea, the World’s Longest Conveyor Belt System is not as grand as the Great Wall of China, but it can be seen just as easily from space.
A winding system of interlinked belts, the extra-long conveyance system transports phosphate ore from a mining operation in Bu Craa, Morocco across the Western Sahara Desert to the harbor town of Marsa near El Aaiún where it can be shipped worldwide. All told, the phosphate’s leisurely journey covers over 61 miles of distance from one end of the belt system to another. As the rocky ore makes its way across the landscape the strong desert winds blow the lighter particles of the white ore off the belt, creating a bold ivory streak along the length of the conveyance system. With this extra indicator differentiating the belt’s track from the landscape the miles of moving phosphor can even be seen from space.
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Morocco’s Mountains, Medinas, and Desert Oases
Explore ancient desert fortresses, wander maze-like medinas, and spend your nights in traditional riads and palm-grove oases. Join Atlas Obscura for a week of adventure across Morocco’s spectacular and sprawling terrain.