Scientists uncover mysteries of Earth's stunning desert star dunes 

 March 4 (Reuters) Star dunes are desert wonders, vaguely pyramid-shaped sand formations up to 1,000 feet (300 meters) tall  

On Monday, scientists revealed the first in-depth examination of a star dune, revealing its internal structure and how long

 it took one to form—more quickly than expected but still over centuries.  

 A star dune called Lala Lallia, meaning "highest sacred point" in Berber, was studied in eastern Morocco's Sahara Desert

 in a little sand sea called Erg Chebbi, 3 miles (5 km) from Merzouga, near Algeria.  

Lala Lallia is 2,300 feet (700 meters) wide and 330 feet (100 meters) above the dunes, with 5-1/2 million metric tons of sand. 

 As wind blows sand through the desert, Lala Lallia has formed over 900 years, accumulating 6,400 metric tons annually.  

The researchers used ground-penetrating radar to peer inside the dune and luminescence dating to determine how long it took.  

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