Day 97

Day 97


Sailing Stones of Playa Racetrack

At Death Valley national park there is a strange place called the Playa Racetrack. Rocks from a few ounces to hundreds of pounds mysteriously move across the sand making tracks as long as 1500 feet.

In 2014, scientists were able to capture the movement of the stones for the first time using time-lapse photography. The results strongly suggest that the sailing stones are the result of a perfect balance of ice, water, and wind. In the winter of 2014, rain formed a small pond that froze overnight and thawed the next day, creating a vast sheet of ice that was reduced by midday to only a few millimeters thick. Driven by a light wind, this sheet broke up and accumulated behind the stones, slowly pushing them forward.


Photo Credit: Romain Guy from San Francisco, USA, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons\_Stones\_(7602208040).jpg

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