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Challenge: Atmospheric Phenomena (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: 2016
Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Nikon AF Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G IF-ED DX
Location: Death Valley, California
Date: Jan 27, 2016
Date Uploaded: Jan 28, 2016

People living in Southern California, and L.A. specifically, have to look up the definition of "atmospheric phenomenon" since, basically, we have none.

I just happened to be on a road trip to Death Valley just before the challenge rolled over. On this day, we took a trip to the Racetrack - famous for these sailing rocks - and fortuitously, we had very high clouds, which created the conditions for this glorious sun halo.

The huge Racetrack playa is littered with hundreds of small rocks but only a handful of them travel. They are quite extraordinary. Sadly, however, people have removed some of them leaving just the trail and a tiny divet where the rock used to be. So utterly senseless, since the rock without the playa and trail, is meaningless.

Thanks everyone! These are known as the "sailing rocks" and why they move is still a mystery, as no one has ever seen them do so.

The theory is that sudden rainfalls fill the playa (which is the flatest natural surface in the world) with a thin layer of water. If there are high winds, the speculation is that the rocks are pushed along, leaving their tracks on the softened earth.

Place: 10 out of 50
Avg (all users): 6.4426
Avg (commenters): 7.0000
Avg (participants): 6.3182
Avg (non-participants): 6.5128
Views since voting: 489
Views during voting: 151
Votes: 61
Comments: 11
Favorites: 0

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02/05/2016 06:26:01 PM
Oh! I wondered who had been to the racetrack!
Lovely image, of course, ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/96751.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/96751.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Tanguera.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/05/2016 03:20:42 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/05/2016 08:19:32 AM
Fantastic photo, Johanna.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/05/2016 01:37:35 AM
Fantastic photo, Johanna. The sun halo is awesome, and the tracks from the rocks are too. It's interesting how the tracks cross, giving clues to the history of the rock's respective movements.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/05/2016 12:24:55 AM
Did the two rocks make those tracks? This is a fantastic photo. Congrats on the top 10!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/05/2016 12:15:51 AM
I had this pegged as the winner. Great job of capturing the magic of the moving rocks. And, the sun halo is magic. Great job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/05/2016 12:10:55 AM
Just amazing...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/04/2016 11:48:33 PM
Minimal and intense.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/31/2016 08:05:41 PM
Love this photo, but the composition feels wrong. I think it suffers from the portrait mode. It would have been a much stronger and striking photo in landscape mode with the sun (or moon?) and traveling stones placed in some type of a "third" arrangement. As far as your capturing of a cool atmospheric phenomenon, you nailed it, with the bonus of the stones and paths. I'm assuming this is Racetrack Playa of Death Valley because I don't know of anywhere else on Earth that this happens. Well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/29/2016 07:37:57 PM
Very interesting use of the sliding rocks.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/29/2016 12:29:47 PM
7 from me. It's really cool how the rocks move, huh?!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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