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Actively studied for 50 years, the rocks that mysteriously move around the dried lake bed playa in Death Valley, called the Racetrack, are yet to have an unquestionable explanation for their movement.
Despite years of interest and intermittent research investigations, no one has ever witnessed the rocks in motion. The mechanisms for these unusual events have been hypothesized and in some cases tested, but never proven. Gravity must be ruled out, since the rocks are generally moving slightly uphill (the northern section of the playa is a few centimeters higher than the southern end)
One of the most interesting mysteries of Death Valley National Park is the sliding rocks at Racetrack Playa (a playa is a dry lake bed). These rocks can be found on the floor of the playa with long trails behind them. Somehow these rocks slide across the playa, cutting a furrow in the sediment as they move.
Some of these rocks weigh several hundred pounds. That makes the question: "How do they move?" a very challenging one.
The truth: No one knows for sure exactly how these rocks move - although a few people have come up with some pretty good explanations. The reason why their movement remains a mystery: No one has ever seen them in motion!
All sliding rock traces are ephemeral: the smallest ones may not survive a subsequent rainfall, while others produced by the most massive boulders may last no longer than about seven years (Sharp and Carey, 1976). Hence, previous monitoring studies and limited-area maps generated may no longer be valid. Movement appears to be episodic and linked to the occurrence of storms (Sharp and Carey, 1976; Reid et al., 1995). Major "rock slides" are punctuated by stable periods, coinciding with dry conditions on the playa.
Originally posted by n0b0DY
Anybody know of an footage of these things moving?
Originally posted by cluckerspud
I have seen a few documentaries on this
and have also read a little on the subject.
Everything I come across is usually inconclusive.
I think a new research, team or experiments are due.
Originally posted by VintageEnvy
Didn't they solve this not too long ago? Something about ice in the water slowly bumping into them and moving them a little. Thats why some are moved and some are still stuck where theyve always been.
Originally posted by Wertdagf
ITS A FAKE........
You can see straight line indentations along is the sand to with teh rock "paths". They used boards and ropes.
so im guessing that someone near the area needs to get out there and video it happening
Originally posted by ANNED
This is not the only dry lake bed where this happens on other dry lakes in Calif and Nevada this same thing happens but due to the different type mud's the tracks do not show up like the do at devil's racetrack.