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Hottest place on Earth, death valley

Updated on March 14, 2015
This place just looks hot
This place just looks hot | Source

I know for a fact that I wouldn't want to live there, but having the title seems to be important to the places that are claiming it. The planet we live on has some amazing things about it, Death Valley is one of them.

There has been some dispute and controversy over the past 90 years about what place on Earth holds the record for the highest temperature reading. In July 1913 there was an official reading at Furnace Creek in Death Valley of 134 degrees. In 1922 there was a temperature recorded in Northern Libya of 136 degrees, that took the record away from Death Valley.

Over the past year a team of climate scientists and members of the world meteorological society investigated the claim and determined that it was not a valid temperature reading. They threw out the Libyan reading and gave the record back to Death Valley of 134 degrees. The temperature in Death Valley has reached 129 three times since the 1913 record was set, but is has officially never been broken.

Magnificent Scenery

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Death valley record heat

This is a huge win for the people that live in and around Death Valley, they think it will draw many more visitors than they already get, seeking to experience the stifling heat next summer. The owner of a resort that gets filled up with visitors that want to experience the heat said, “You kind of get used to the 115s, the 120s, Once it gets above 120, 125, it’s just downright miserable.Seems like an understatement to me.

The average temp in the winter is in the upper 60’s, but the temp did get down to 15 degrees in January of 1914. In 2001 the daily high was above 100 degrees for 153 strait days. As expected for a desert, it is very dry. The average rainfall in the bottom of the valley is less than 2 inches per year, at least it’s a dry heat.

Badwater basin

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Death Valley naming

There are many interesting and fascinating things to draw you to want to see Death Valley other than the heat. The beautiful and unusual landscapes have something for everyone to enjoy. Death Valley is a national park that is located in the Mojave desert in California. Death Valley is surrounded by the Amargosa range to the east, the Panamint range to the west, the Sylvania mountains to the north and the Owlshead mountains to the south.

The name was given to the area by the gold rushers in 1849 heading west to the California gold mines and the possibility of getting rich. Although there was only 1 official actual death during that time, the name stuck because it is such an inhospitable place, where you could easily die from the heat.

Badwater Basin

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Death Valley badwater basin

The Badwater basin in the valley lies 282 ft below sea level, making it the lowest land area in the United States. The highest peak in the park is Telescope peak at 11.049 feet, only 15 miles from the Badwater basin. The valley is also located only 76 miles from the highest peak in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney at 14.505 feet.

Beauty of desolation

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National Monument to National Park

Death Valley was made a national monument in 1933 by Herbert Hoover and was upgraded to a national park in 1994 by President Clinton. The park covers 3.4 million acres, and is the largest national park in the U.S. south of Alaska.

Mountains around death valley

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Moving rocks

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Moving rocks

One of the most interesting and unexplained things in the park is the walking rocks. There are several large rocks that have moved across the dry lake bed and no one is sure how they moved. They leave a trail but there is no visible means how they do it.

The area of the moving rocks is a dry lake bed called Racetrack Playa. The lake bed is almost completely flat and is almost always dry. Several of these rocks weigh in the several hundred pound range which creates the mystery. The most believed explanation is that when it does get some moisture on the lake bed, it creates a layer of very fine grained mud. The mud is extremely slippery and wind gusting across the open lake bed start the rocks moving. With the fine mud they keep moving once they start.

It's an interesting and intriguing phenomena that is maybe best that we never know the cause for sure.

Conclusion

Check out the pictures and watch the video at the bottom. You will see that this is a place you should definitely add to your places to see if your heading from Vegas to California.

There are some very cool pictures to be taken at Death Valley, to learn how to take better vacation pics, check this out.

Death Valley dunes

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