Namib nä´mĭb [key], desert, c.800 mi (1,290 km) long and from 30 to 100 mi (50–160 km) wide, SW Africa, along the coast of Namibia. It occupies a rocky platform between the Atlantic Ocean and the escarpment of the interior plateau. Isolated mountains rise from the desert and sand dunes cover its southern portion. It receives less than 1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm) of rain annually and is barren of vegetation. Tungsten, salt, and alluvial diamonds are mined. The coast north of Swakopmund is known as Skeleton Coast for its whalebones and shipwrecks.
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