the mysterious sailing stones of death valley


Photos of the "Sailing Stones" on the Racetrack dry lake in Death Valley (California)

The "Sailing Stones" are rocks that move in long tracks along a the smooth and perfectly flat surface of a dry lake, without human or animal intervention.­

The rocks are most likely propelled by strong winds, after winter rains made the mud soft and slippery.­ Floating ice sheets (or icebergs) are believed to be a contributing factor.­ Those rocks move several hundreds feet every couple of years, during winter, but no-one has ever observed them moving.­ It is likely that the weather is extremely cold, wet and windy when the stones move, and by this type of extreme weather, no-one really wants to be there!

The best time to take photos of the sailing rocks and their tracks is just before sunset, or just after sunrise, when the light is grazing.­

For more information about the Racetrack sailing stones, read en.­wikipedia.­org/­wiki/­Sailing_­stones and en.­wikipedia.­org/­wiki/­Racetrack_­Playa

Related series:
- Grotto Canyon (Death Valley)
- Death Valley