Two things jumped out at me as soon as I saw this puzzle.
Firstly, the mixed-case letter strings on the far right. Several of them look like
Secondly, the all-caps letter strings in the middle. Several of them start with what look like
Looking at it a little more closely, I noticed that
So let's fill in some of those letters and see where we get:
As Deusovi pointed out in the comments, it's a repeating 5x5 block, so I focused on those 25 pixels. The hex values I found for those are
However, I noticed in the description that
After readjusting accordingly, I found that the new hex values were
Converting that to ASCII, we get
Whatever floats your boat, man.
It's hard to be sure with all this sand in my eyes, but I believe the desert is saying:
Firstly, the title and the fact that the only numbers used in the grains of sand are 1 - 12, hint towards a clock face.
From here, we can treat numbers as directions, such that from any given point, you just take the number given and travel according to the ...
The bottom left
The bottom middle
The bottom right
Top 3 rows, part 1R
Top 3 rows, part 1G
Top 3 rows, part 1B
Top three rows, part 2
Top three rows, part 2R
Top three rows, part 2G
Top three rows, part 2B
We begin by using steghide to reveal the payload:
The link brings us to a paste where we get
you've done well. Go deeper, and the rewards can be found. Difficulty will increase as you solve each test.
May you find your meaning.
This is a comprehensive and complete roundup of the answers submitted by various users and brought together by the OP. A lot of this was solved in chat, mainly by Deusovi, Rubio, Techidiot and Volatility.
The answer to this is
Each algebraic equation:
Doing this for every equation gives:
Transcribed this is
If we use
Definitely correct stuff...
Based on the hint,
Other notes and observations...
The stamp appears to be
Except that it has been squared off, and
Probably less relevant, but
Finally, commenters below have noted that the image in the top left
This could be a rebus depicting
EDIT: I originally used the wrong preposition in the idiom, although the page I linked to had it correct. A now-deleted comment informed me of this. Rosie F also noticed my mistake here.
They cost ≈ $0.00833333333333333333333333333333 each.
Go! Intentionally fracture your fibula!
You are the joints of the lower appendages of a eusocial animal.
I bequeath unto you the frigid glenohumeral joint.
You and the curvy peg are now parting ways, thanks to me.
A conglomeration of wind, precipitation, humidity and temperature is above me ...
The first letters say
The letters which have been changed from the original words spell:
Now, from Wikipedia,
if we look at the note and use the letters, we get
So, we look at the letters that we find before the h in the text, and we get:
So I suggest that you must:
I mentioned in the comments above that I'd made some partial progress on this. I haven't had much time to take it any further, so I thought I'd post my work so far in case it helps others...
Firstly, I noticed that:
Following this logic, I produced:
So visualising that result another way we get:
That's about all the concrete output I have,...