Well, that solves that mystery; First Observation of Death Valley’s Sliding Rocks. Excerpt:
A dry lake in Death Valley, called Racetrack Playa, is home to the famous “sailing stones.” These large rocks, some of which weigh up to 700 pounds, leave behind long trails in the dirt, indicating that something — or someone — has been moving them. (See photo above.) But how?
Conspiracy theorists and others with active imaginations have implicated aliens (of course), powerful magnetic fields, or just plain old magic as the culprit behind the mysterious phenomenon. More serious speculators suggested dust devils or a combination of rain and strong wind. These explanations, however, are wrong.
Death Valley is an interesting place. Mrs. Animal, yr. obdt. and a couple of the kids visited there a few years back at the worst possible time – late July. It was 130+ F at Badwater when we got out and walked around the big salt flats and saw the shallow, simmering waters there.
It’s hard to describe that kind of heat; at some point superlatives fail to do the place credit. The only place I’ve felt comparable heat was in the late spring of 1991 in southern Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia. It’s the kind of heat that makes if difficult to breathe. Your lungs seize up, crying to you “Hey! This is way above operating specs! Don’t you know you can’t breathe this stuff?”
Give me southern Alaska and the never-above-70 climate any time.
But it’s an interesting place, made all the more so by the fact that the mystery of the sliding rocks is due to – yes, really – ice.
Still. If we ever visit Death Valley again, January sounds like about the right time.