-482ft (-142m)

Average Depth

0ft (0m)

Surface Area

7,570 sq mi (19,605 sq km)


NA - the region is a desert


A Peculiar Past

The Chagan nuclear test in 1965 was conducted to study the feasibility of nuclear weapons for excavation.


Once the site of the El Alamein battles in WWII,
the CIA in the 1950s developed the idea of filling the Qattara Depression to improve the region, and counteract the influence of the Soviet Union with the Egyptian government. The idea died due to technical complexity, cost, and the difficulty of removing thousands of land mines from the old battlefields.

Years later the idea resurfaced in the 1970s as a German led team conducted feasibility studies with the idea to use 215 hydrogen bombs to blast a series of craters to form a canal.
However the Egyptian government soured on the ideas as the potential effects (naturally including radiation) came to light, and the project was shelved.

The Soviet Union actually tested the concept of using nuclear weapons for excavation in the Semipalatinsk region.


Dormant Potential

The depression lies tantalizingly close to the ocean, but the high mountains separating the region from the Mediterranean have prevented any serious progress until tunneling economics dramatically improve.



While still a desert, the scale of the hydropower potential, and the opportunity to introduce substantial moisture and even precipitation into the Sahara has left this region a place of interest to this day for terraforming.
Perhaps one day, we can help realize these dreams...

It still inspires the imagination in forums around the internet.