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March-April 2015

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The Moving Rocks of Racetrack Valley: The Mystery Is Finally Solved

Some call them the “sailing stones,” others the “sliding rocks,” yet others refer to them as the more vague “moving rocks.” Whatever the moniker, most who follow weather and earth science immediately recognize the reference to the mysterious phenomenon found at the southern end of Death Valley National Park's Racetrack Valley (see Weatherscapes on page 8)—rocks that sit at the bow of gouges in the valley's dry lakebed, the shallow furrows having been clearly scribed by the stones themselves. The spectacle, of course, leads almost immediately to the question, how?

ED DARACK is an independent author and photographer; learn more at

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