starlight starbright

home    message    ETSY   submit    archive    theme
©
Hope you learn a lot about space. If you don't it's not my fault.


A Sailing Stone in Death Valley Image Credit: Nathan Alexander, Wikipedia
Explanation: How did this big rock end up on this strange terrain? One of the more unusual places here on Earth occurs inside Death Valley, California, USA. There a dried lakebed namedRacetrack Playa exists that is almost perfectly flat, with the odd exception of some very large stones, one of which is pictured above. Now the flatness and texture of large playa like Racetrack are fascinating but not scientifically puzzling — they are caused by mud flowing, drying, and cracking after a heavy rain. Only recently, however, has a viable scientific hypothesis been given to explain how 300-kilogram sailing stones ended up near the middle of such a large flat surface. Unfortunately, as frequently happens in science, a seemingly surreal problem ends up having a relatively mundane solution. It turns out that high winds after a rain can push even heavy rocks across a temporarily slick lakebed.

A Sailing Stone in Death Valley 
Image CreditNathan Alexander, Wikipedia

Explanation: How did this big rock end up on this strange terrain? One of the more unusual places here on Earth occurs inside Death ValleyCaliforniaUSA. There a dried lakebed namedRacetrack Playa exists that is almost perfectly flat, with the odd exception of some very large stones, one of which is pictured above. Now the flatness and texture of large playa like Racetrack are fascinating but not scientifically puzzling — they are caused by mud flowing, drying, and cracking after a heavy rain. Only recently, however, has a viable scientific hypothesis been given to explain how 300-kilogram sailing stones ended up near the middle of such a large flat surface. Unfortunately, as frequently happens in science, a seemingly surreal problem ends up having a relatively mundane solution. It turns out that high winds after a rain can push even heavy rocks across a temporarily slick lakebed.



5 notes
  1. captainrachael reblogged this from lookatthesefuckinstars and added:
    I remember reading about this when I was kid. I was creeped out.
  2. topazwoods reblogged this from lookatthesefuckinstars
  3. lookatthesefuckinstars posted this