It is a geographical region filling the north-eastern Sahara Desert, from eastern Libya to the Western Desert of Egypt and far northwestern Sudan. The desert, in its entirety, is uninhabited, as it is a large rocky plain called "Hamada" in addition to another part called "The Grea Sand Sea”. It has 8 major depressions, as well as multiple oases.
The Libyan desert was explored by a number of explorers, although it was a passage for caravan trade between North Africa and the Greater Sahara Desert, as Ibn Battuta wrote about it in his writings.
In the desert there are some wild animals that are endangered.
The term 'Libyan Desert' began to appear widely on European maps in the last decades of the 19th century, typically identified as straddling the borders of present-day Egypt and Libya.
In Libyan Sands, Ralph Bagnold went as far as to suggest that the Libyan Desert was a separate geographical entity from the Sahara, cut off by the mountains and plateaux of the Ennedi and Tibesti in northern Chad, and the Akakus along the Algerian border in the west.
The Libyan Desert covers an area of approximately 1,300,000 square kilometres (500,000 sq mi), and extends approximately 1,100 km from east to west, and 1,000 km from north to south, in about the shape of a rectangle slanting to the south-east. Like most of the Sahara, this desert is primarily sand and hamada or stony plain.
Sand plains, dunes, ridges, and some depressions typify the endorheic region, with no rivers draining into or out of the desert. The Gilf Kebir plateau reaches an altitude of just over 1,000 m, and along with the nearby massif of Jebel Uweinat is an exception to the uninterrupted territory of basement rocks covered by layers of horizontally bedded sediments, forming a massive sand plain, low plateaus, and dunes.
The desert features a striking diversity of landscapes including mountains, oases, and sand seas.
The ancient Greeks, such as Herodotus, regarded the whole of the North African littoral, to Cape Spartel in Morocco, as “Libya”. With the organization of the Italian colony of Libya in the 20th century the term "Libyan Desert" for this region became a misnomer, and the area of desert within Egypt became known as the "Western Desert".
During the 1930s the Libyan desert was the scene of exploration and mapping by the Italian Army and Air Force. Others, such as Ralph Bagnold and Laszlo Almasy also travelled in south-eastern Libya and southern Egypt, searching for the lost oasis of Zerzura. Bagnold also travelled into northern Chad, to the Mourdi Depression, recording his findings in his book Libyan Sands: Travel in a Dead World, which was published in 1935.