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James W. Young, Professional Photographer

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January 8, 2012
The Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park.  The playa is approximately 2.8 miles long in the
north-south direction, and 1.3 miles long in the east-west direction.  The surface is typically dry all
year round, except when infrequent rains (annual average is 3-4 inches) wet the surface, causing this
flat level expanse to become extremely slick.  It is thought that strong winter winds, reaching up to
90 mph at times, move the rocks along the slippery surface.  No one has seen or filmed the actual
 movement of the stones, sometimes referred to as 'sailing stones', but studies have been conducted
since the early 1950s.  Read more about this unique place, as well as monitoring programs of these
stone movements here.

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