Skip to main content
  1. Leisure
  2. Travel
  3. International Travel

The Mysterious 'Sailing Stones' of Death Valley

See also

There are many strange phenomena around the world, and many things that have not been explained, even in this scientific age. One of the strangest anomalies is the moving stones on the desert floor of Death Valley.

Death Valley is an area within the Mojave Desert, and is the lowest and driest area in North America, and presently holds the title of the "hottest place in the world." Its Badwater Basin is an amazing 282 feet below sea level, and is located only 84 miles from the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mt. Whitney.

In this mysterious valley lie the "Sailing Stones." They are called this because they seem to sail across the desert floor, leaving tracks of their movements in the sand, but no one has ever seen them move. Some have even made 90 degree turns, which is remarkable because some weigh as much as 700 lbs.. There have been many theories as to how these stones move, ranging from the winds that whip across the desert, to UFOs making them move.

In 2006 a Nasa scientist named Ralph Lorenzo decided to try and solve the mystery. He concluded through experiments that the rock movement was caused by water freezing on the desert floor, thus giving the rocks a slippery surface to be easily moved by the wind on, but the the weight of the rock was such that it left tracks in the desert floor. This could be possible because the temperatures in the basin sometimes drop well below freezing, thus if there is moisture available in whatever form at that time, it could freeze. But, until someone actually sees them move, it will remain a mystery. To read more about Lorenzo's experiment, go to Live Science.

You can subscribe to these free articles by clicking the subscribe link near the top of this page. Please share the articles with othes.

Advertisement

Leisure

  • Corned beef
    Find out how to prepare a classic corned beef recipe in a slow cooker
    Video
    Slow Cooker Tips
  • Left handed eating
    Find out why you should never eat with your left hand
    Video
    Wives Tale
  • Subway message
    Subway customer finds 'Big Mama' written on her order
    Video
    Subway Message
  • Deviled eggs
    This is the only deviled egg recipe you’ll need this Easter
    Delicious Eggs
  • Natural solutions
    Natural beauty: All natural solutions to life's little beauty headaches
    Camera
    Natural Solutions
  • Chocolate souffle
    Love chocolate? Get tips on making the perfect chocolate souffle every time
    Video
    Recipe 101

Related Videos:

  • The hunt for Faberge eggs is on in the Big Apple
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517671395" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=517671395&autoStart=true"></div>
  • 'The Way We Were' in Los Angeles
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/R-3xS8G6sfQ?VQ=HD720&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Norvirus sickens several aboard Crown Princess cruise
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518144987" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518144987&autoStart=true"></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!