The Mystery of Racetrack Playa
The solitude and mystery surrounding Death Valley’s Racetrack Playa attracts countless visitors each year. The most fascinating feature of this dried up river basin is the rock population. Approximately 200 rocks call this region home and are perhaps the area’s greatest mystery.
The rocks of Racetrack Playa are known for “speeding” around the basin all on their own - some have even reached speeds of up to four miles per hour! The rocks move individually of each other, in random patterns and can leave tracks up to half a mile in length.
Recently David Kingham of David Kingham Photographyspent come time in Death Valley and said his experience was “indescribable”. Being able to sit there under the stars, among these mysterious rocks is something he will never forget.
Here is how he captured this incredible shot:
Foreground is a long exposure at ISO 800, focus stacked 4 shots to get everything in focus and the sky is ISO 6400, 30”, f/2.8
Fun fact: each rock is fitted with a tracking device and monitored.
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Image & Source Credit:
The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour
Photo Credit: Robin Harper
This slab of rock comes from what is today Morocco. The rocks are Ordovician in age; deposited during a long stretch of time when this portion of the African Coast was submerged beneath a shallow inland sea.
The presence of so many different starfish in a single layer suggests that this was a “death assemblage” – some unknown processes killed a whole bunch of the critters at once, leading to a single layer filled with fossils. Each starfish in this photo is only a couple centimeters in diameter.
If you look closely, you can make out many of the details of the organisms including the placement of the plates that compose their outer coverings.
Image credit: Cobalt123