10 Interesting Facts about Death Valley
Death Valley National Park in the USA is one of the most inhospitable lands in the world. With many strange things that make this place like another planet, Death Valley is one of the top destinations that you must visit in Eastern California. Let’s know about the 10 interesting facts about Death Valley and find the reasons that you should explore this national park!
1. A Huge Area of Wilderness Reserve
The Death Valley National Park was established in 1994 with an area of 3.4 million hectares. In fact, more than 1,600 km of roads have been made to bring visitors closer to the attractions. Entirely 93% of the park is a wilderness reserve, which is the second largest in the United States, after Alaska.
2. North America’s Lowest Elevation of Death Valley
One reason Death Valley has such an impressive view is its low elevation. The lowest point is Badwater Basin at 86m below sea level. Some areas at the bottom of the valley are covered with a thick layer of salt, which many people mistake for snow, due to rainwater and minerals flowing down from higher areas.
3. An Unexpected Amount of Wildflowers
Despite its reputation as the most inhospitable place in the world, in spring, Death Valley can be covered with flowers. While the amount of flowers varies from year to year, if the weather conditions are right, you will have the opportunity to see the hillsides full of colorful flowers.
4. One of the Hottest Places on Earth
Furnace Creek in Death Valley is famous for being the place to record the highest air temperatures in the world. Indeed, it’s like 54.4oC in 2021. Before that, the temperature was 56.6oC in 1913, although this number may be incorrect. This place also has less rainfall than other desert areas, less than 5 cm/year.
5. The Moving Rocks of Death Valley
The area called Racetrack Playa was formerly a world-famous geological mystery. The bottom of this dry lake is filled with hundreds of rocks, some weighing over 300 kg. Especially, they seem to move on their own, leaving long trails in the ground, sometimes as long as half a kilometer. This phenomenon was deciphered in 2014, when scientists discovered that the ground flooded and froze on cold winter nights, creating a layer of ice that would carry rocks when broken and slid away.
6. Sand Dunes Can Sing
The walking stones are not the only mystery in the park. Located between the Mesquite Flat and Eureka Dunes, several smaller dunes are known for their quaint-singing feature. As the sand slides down the slope, the friction between the grains creates a deep sound like the sound of a pipe or an airplane. This is also one of the places with the loudest singing sand in the world.
7. Humans Have Lived Here for Centuries
The Timbisha Shoshone lived in what is now the Death Valley National Park hundreds of years before the first European explorers entered the area. By following the seasonal migrations of wildlife, they have succeeded in hunting and gathering across the valley’s diverse environment for generations.
8. Scenes for Hollywood Movies
Movie fans will feel familiar when visiting this national park. In fact, over 100 TV shows and movies have been filmed in Death Valley thanks to its unique terrain and otherworldly settings.
9. Fishes That Evolved to Survive
Of the five fish species that can survive the harsh conditions of Death Valley, the most famous is the pupfish in Devils Hole, a salty body of water where the average temperature is 33.8 degrees Celsius and oxygen levels are as low as levels that would cause most other fish species to die. In April 2013, there were only 35 individuals, but by 2022, the number of this rarest fish in the world will have increased to 135.
10. The Bird in the Death Valley
The bird less than 60cm tall and weighing less than 0.5kg is one of Death Valley’s most popular wildlife. Because of its high body temperature, this bird can survive in hot daytime temperatures.
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READ MORE ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARKS IN THE USA
Not only Death Valley National Park but the USA has so many fascinating national parks that we should visit. If you plan to explore the national parks in the USA, here are places that you should visit: