Image Credit & Copyright: Michael Ince.
This photo brings back so many memories for me as I’ve been out here a few times. This beautiful photo comes from Mike Ince and it’s of the Milky Way over what’s known as the Death Valley “Race Track” or “Race Track Playa”. You may have heard of this location as it’s known for having the rocks that mysteriously move without human aid. The stones are called “sailing stones” and if you get a chance to see these stones you will easily understand why this location is called the racetrack and the rocks; sailing stones. That’s because they move….on their own.
That’s right; there aren’t people out there pushing stones through sand like Tonka trucks but instead they go for an all-natural approach and in 2014 a team of scientists set out to discover what makes them move and find out they did. In short, in the winter the area receives just a little bit of rain then at night it freezes. When the sun comes up and melts the ice it creates small chunks that, when wind gusts blow on them, push the chunks against the rocks and they slide along the softened land. I placed a link regarding the discovery below.
One final note on this amazing landscape; over the last few years there has been much damage and thievery of these stones which in the long run ruins things for everyone. I’m not sure what the allure of travelling all that way is to just damage what you came to see but its happening. I would strongly urge anyone that has the opportunity to get out there and see this location and I would also urge you to but you will need patience and if you’re smart, a truck because it’s pretty treacherous at times. Like anywhere else in life that you strive to leave it equal or better then when you arrived. National, state and town parks are a treasure and a keep-safe for future generations as well as ourselves to enjoy so it’s in everyone best interests to keep them in order. Not asking you to donate, volunteer and write government officials, (which is always very much appreciated) just treat them like they deserve to be treated.
I really hope you enjoy this image and be sure to check out more of Mike’s work!
Mike Ince Photography: http://mikeince.com/
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+MikeInce/posts
National Park Service (NPS) (Racetrack Playa): http://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/the-racetrack.htm
NPS Death Valley Twitter: https://twitter.com/deathvalleynps
Mystery of the Moving Rocks Solved: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0105948#s1