The acid is extremely hygroscopic, absorbing moisture from the atmosphere with great rapidity; hence it finds considerable application as a desiccating agent.
Whereas both the mountains and valleys of the Astintagh and of the Akato-tagh (the next large range to the Astin-tagh on the south) are arid and desolate in the extreme, smitten as it were with the desiccating breath of the desert, those of the Arka-tagh and beyond are supersaturated with moisture, so that, at any rate in summer, the surface is in many parts little better than a quaking quagmire.
The anhydrous salt is very hygroscopic, and hence finds application as a desiccating agent.
There the Volga, the Ural, the Syr-darya and the Amu-darya discharge their waters without reaching the ocean, but they bring life to the rapidly desiccating Transcaspian steppes, and link together the most remote parts of Russia.
The effects produced by desiccating agencies are beyond all comparison more powerful than those which result from the earthquakes that are so frequent in Turkestan.
The time taken in seasoning wood by this desiccating process is not more than one-tenth of that occupied in the natural or open-air method.
Outside Egypt mummification was practised amongst the ancient Peruvians, who took advantage of the desiccating atmosphere and salt soil of their caves for preserving the dead in good condition without any embalming process.