Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sliding Rocks of Racetrack Playa

Sliding-rockOne of the most interesting mysteries of Death Valley National Park is the sliding rocks at Racetrack Playa (a playa is a dry lake bed). These rocks can be found on the floor of the playa with long trails behind them. Somehow these rocks slide across the playa, cutting a furrow in the sediment as they move. Some of these rocks weigh several hundred pounds. That makes the question: "How do they move?" a very challenging one. The truth: No one knows for sure exactly how these rocks move - although a few people have come up with some pretty good explanations. The reason why their movement remains a mystery: No one has ever seen them in motion!



WooHoo said...

During the wet season the wind blows them across the mud. The truth is it has been filmed and the part about no one ever seeing them move is false.

Pangolin said...

It's not just water, and the mystery has only recently been solved because it was finally caught on film.

It's rocks caught in a layer of ice, and the ice floes are blown by the wind.

Anonymous said...

it hasn't been filmed yet has it? -the clip i saw only showed a thin layer of ice forming across the playa but didn't show the rocks actually moving.

Anonymous said...

it's an alien trick, to make you ponder