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A desert wasteland

For the act of leaving your assigned posting without permission, please see Desertion.
For the delicious after-dinner treat, please see Dessert.
"The precise meaning of the word "desert" is a waterless, barren wasteland. I fail to understand your romantic nostalgia for such a place."
– Spock, 2267 ("The Squire of Gothos")

A desert is a dry area of a planet that has very few sources of water. Desert areas could be found on many class M planets, and some planets, even M-class, seem to be largely or entirely covered by desert.

Apart from M-class worlds, class L planets seem to be good candidates for desert planets, and the Star Trek: Star Charts specifically describes class H as desert planets.

Worlds which had deserts among other climates include Gaia, Lactra VII, and the Genesis Planet. (DS9: "Children of Time"; TAS: "The Eye of the Beholder"; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) Vulcan was another planet largely covered by deserts, the most famous of which was Vulcan's Forge. Other worlds which seem to have been dominated by deserts include Nimbus III, Motherlode, Lambda Paz, Kolarus III, and Ocampa (which was turned into a desert after a disaster in the 14th century). (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; TAS: "Mudd's Passion"; TNG: "Final Mission"; Star Trek Nemesis; VOY: "Caretaker")

T'Pol once participated in the kahs-wan ritual where she was taken to the desert and left there ten days to survive. (ENT: "The Catwalk")

Thy'lek Shran felt that while Vulcans said that the desert teaches men the meaning of endurance, it was ice that forged real strength. (ENT: "The Aenar")

The surface of Tyree was covered by vast deserts. Benjamin Sisko, Jake, Joseph Sisko, and Ezri Dax experienced them firsthand in early 2375. (DS9: "Image in the Sand", "Shadows and Symbols")

The Yadozi desert was known to be particularly dry. (DS9: "A Man Alone") The Tarkanian desert on the other hand, was known for its heat. (VOY: "The Haunting of Deck Twelve")

The Ravinok was forced to crash in a desert on Dozaria by the Breen in 2366. (DS9: "Indiscretion")

In 2370, the southern desert on Caldos experienced unusually high humidity levels as a result of disruptions in its weather control system. (TNG: "Sub Rosa")

In 2373, the central desert on a Nezu colony was hit by fragments of an asteroid USS Voyager had failed to destroy. Fortunately the region was sparsely populated. (VOY: "Rise")


Earth had several desert areas, including the Sahara Desert. However, by the 23rd century, terraforming technology had allowed some of Earth's deserts to be converted into green parkland. The Mojave desert was one such area so converted. (TOS: "The Cage")

In Earth mythology, a journey through the desert was mentioned in the epic of Gilgamesh. (TNG: "Darmok")

Nevada had large deserts. The American city of Las Vegas was built there in the early 20th century. Nuclear weapons were tested there, such as one detonated there in 1947. (DS9: "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang", "Little Green Men") In 2375, Las Vegas citizen Vic Fontaine expressed his concern that he might end up "buried in the desert" if the Deep Space 9 crew failed to successfully rob Carl Zeemo's casino. (DS9: "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang")

The sunrise in the Arizona desert was one of the things Chakotay dearly missed about the Earth. (VOY: "The 37's")

Jonathan Archer and Trip Tucker underwent Starfleet survival training in the desert of the Australian outback for two weeks in the 2140s. Tucker later recalled how the heat and dry air of the desert sucked the life out of him. He and Archer ultimately ended up in a similar situation once again when, in 2152, circumstances left them stranded on the desert planet that was the Torothan homeworld. (ENT: "Desert Crossing")

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