Our planet has various places that seem totally unreal. Some of them have unique characteristics that make you want to visit them even if the name does not accompany it. Its about death Valley. Death Valley is the second largest natural park in the United States, just behind Yellowstone, and is part of the great Mojave desert.
In this article we are going to tell you about the characteristics, origin and curiosities of Death Valley.
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Death Valley is the second largest natural park in the United States, second only to Yellowstone Park, and is part of the Mojave Desert. Perhaps knowing that it is located in the desert has given us a clue as to why it got its name. We all know that Death Valley is the hottest place on earth. The place has registered 56,7 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature ever recorded. Interestingly, the warmest place on Earth is in the United States and not on other continents like Africa or Oceania.
The main reason for these temperatures is that Death Valley is 86 meters below sea level. In addition, as if that were not enough, it is also surrounded by the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada. These formations block access to the clouds, so almost no water falls in the region during most of the year.
In the year 1849 a group of settlers got lost in the vast plains of the Mojave desert with their wagons and cattle. After a few weeks, the trip turned into hell. In addition to enduring the heat of the day, they also face the cold of the night. They burn cars to make fire and eat all the animals little by little to survive. When they finally got out of that place, one of the female expeditions turned around and said goodbye to the horrible place, shouting: "Goodbye, Valley of Death."
Is there life in Death Valley?
Yes there is life. Due to the lack of rain that we mentioned above, you will find almost no vegetation, just some pine trees on top. However, we can find some animals such as coyotes, wild cats and pumas. Another animal that we will be able to see, but of which you better stay away, it's the rattlesnake. If you see them and suddenly want to get closer, remember: rattlesnakes are the deadliest snake species in the United States.
Given its appearance and location, it is not surprising that many film and television directors seek out Death Valley for their films and television series. This California setting features in many American westerns, as well as some major global hits like Star Wars.
Mystery of the moving rocks
There is a phenomenon in Death Valley that has been featured on many television shows and has been the subject of many legends and theories. These are the moving rocks that Racetrack is famous for. In the early 1940s, a series of rocks that moved on their own were discovered in an area of the valley, leaving traces of their movement. hundreds of stones some of which weighed more than 300 kg, moved without explanation and no one saw how they moved.
After several years of investigation, it was discovered that the rocks were not alive and that no alien had moved them like some kind of ball. Their movement is due to a more natural process. The small amount of rainwater that falls on the region seeps through the earth and remains in a layer below the surface. At night, this water freezes, causing the rocks to slide very slowly.
Despite its name, Death Valley should be a must stop for anyone traveling to California. It is a spectacular place with beautiful views, and photography and nature lovers will enjoy a park that is different from what they are used to.
Origin of Death Valley
The oldest known rocks date from the Proterozoic Era. more than 1.700 million years ago. Although due to the metamorphic process, little is known about its history. For the Paleozoic Era, about 500 million years ago, the data is clearer.
Studies of the rocks have concluded that the area was once covered by a warm, shallow sea. During the Mesozoic, the land rose, shifting the coast about 300 kilometers to the west. This uplift caused the crust to weaken and break, leading to the appearance of Tertiary volcanoes, which covered the area with ash and ash.
The landscape we see today was formed about three million years ago. It was then that expansion forces caused the Panamint Valley and Death Valley to be separated by the Panamint Mountains.
The Badwater Basin has been declining ever since and today sits at 85,5 meters below sea level. In the last three million years, lake systems also appeared due to glaciation and then disappeared due to evaporation, leaving behind extensive salt flats. The largest of these is Lake Manly, said to be 70 kilometers long and 200 meters deep.
What to see in Death Valley
This is the lowest point in North America. Today it is 85,5 meters below sea level, but the sinking process continues.
Unlike Badwater Basin, this is the highest point in Death Valley National Park. It is 3.454 meters high from the basin.
Due to its location at more than 1.660 meters above sea level, It is the best place to enjoy the panoramic view of Death Valley.
His own name makes his attractiveness known. It offers a great variety of colors in the rocks of the slopes of the Black Mountains.
At almost 2.000 meters above sea level, from here you can see Badwater Basin, the Panamint Range or the Mount Charleston salt flats.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about Death Valley and its characteristics.