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A mystery blossoms in Joshua Tree National Park

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One of L.A.'s favorite springtime getaways has been getting a lot of attention lately with Mother Nature presenting a whopper of a photo opportunity.

And if a picture is worth a thousand words, what's happening at Joshua Tree National Park looks like a sci-fi project in the making - all in 3-D. Choose a graduated-blue sky as the primary backdrop, you're in a photographer's paradise.

Millions of the spooky trees in the world-famous park - that lies about 140 miles east of downtown L.A. - have decided to bloom at the same time as though sending a message to humankind.

And no one knows why the colorful flowers are popping like roasting corn.

Residents familiar with seasonal changes in this favorite tourist destination say they've never before seen such sensational blooms explode this way.

Even scientists are baffled about the Joshua tree's dazzling, Hollywood-style performance that's taken place just a few weeks into the vernal equinox..

"They have these multiple arms. They are interesting in that they sort of look Dr. Seussian," research ecologist Cameron Barrows told KABC-TV. "It's probably unprecedented in anybody's recent memory."

Even more bizarre? The enormous blooms are bursting at the seams with a brilliant display of greenish-white flowers not only in the park, but all over the southwest -- simultaneously.

Some scientists believe the mystery flowering may be the result of drought-related stress. Whatever might be the case, only nature knows for sure.




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