Word of the day: Arid

via Daily Prompt: Arid

This brings to mind all sorts of images, mostly of certain science fiction and fantasy novels I read as a teen. A hugely popular series by the name of Dune is what leaps out at me when I think of arid. The name of the planet is Arrakis, a blistering hot desert planet. On Arrakis, water is so scarce that the desert dwellers there, Freemen, always wore a type of suit that recycled all of the natural waste of the body and extracted moisture to be re-used for drinking. Just think about that for a minute, take all the time you need. So when a person sweat or urinated inside this suit foot pumps activated by walking pumped the “liquid” through a system of filters to be fed through a straw to the wearer’s mouth, where it is then re-ingested as the main method of staying hydrated. How clean and sanitary could that possibly be? I feel like I’m going to be sick just thinking about it, but this novel does take place far in the future when space travel is a normal means of travel so I guess the technology is feasible.

I’ve read other books and seen movies where such a fundamental component of life is scarce and it is normally water, or at least fresh water, that poses the problem. Arid is a word used to describe deserts. Most people think of arid as being hot, but that isn’t always the case. A strange and interesting fact is that Antarctica is classified as a desert, and I think it is considered the largest desert on Earth. Antarctica sure doesn’t make me think of a sandy or hot desert, but it is a desert according to the definition, and the word arid does apply. It is defined as barren or unproductive because of lack of moisture. Antarctica receives only an average of 6.5 inches per year. It’s not exactly the winter wonderland that many people picture when they think about it.

Talking about a winter wonderland, how does an Antarctic cruise sound? I just saw an advertisement for one and I have to say I am interested. That is a totally different topic and it doesn’t relate to arid, so I’ll save that for another post.

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