The Racetrack in Death Valley – Mysterious Moving Rocks – Stuck in Customs

The Racetrack in Death Valley – Mysterious Moving Rocks

Mysterious Moving Rocks – Your Theory?

I took this photo last night in a remote part of Death Valley. I’d love to read your thoughts and theories as to why and how these rocks move across the desert on their own! Now, let’s all be sporting about this and NOT use the Google to figure it out… use your mind.

The day in Death Valley was about 115 F (46 C). It wasn’t a dry heat either… there has been a lot of humidity here and there is flash lightning in the day and night. This location here took a lot of time, effort, and 4×4 to find. I took five gallons of water, a map, and some warnings from the place that rented the jeep that this area was inaccessible because of recent road wash-outs from rivers. Well, they were right! So getting the 4×4 over and through the washed out rivers took many more hours than expected. I only suffered one minor injury when my head slammed into the rollbar during a clumsy maneuver. But after I finally found this place I’ve always wanted to visit, it was late afternoon with plenty of time to hike around before night fell.

Here are a few things I noticed which will either be a help or a hindrance in your quest to figure it out:
• When I rapped upon the rock with my knuckle, I felt a faint metallic ting.
• Many rocks were jet-black and heavy with time
• The mud was dry as an old bone, and as I walked across it, I left no footprints behind.
• I walked around without my shoes for a bit, and my feet barely picked up any sand or dirt.  There was a fine white-alkaline powder on my soles, however.
• I never saw the rock move, but I did try something.  In the still of the night, if you put your ear to the ground near the rock, you can hear a distant echo – a trembling sound from deep underground, like heavy chains dragged through the maw of hell.

So what do YOU think causes the rocks to move? Give me your best AND most ludicrous theories!

In the meantime, I’m leaving Death Valley to go to Burning Man, so my internet will be quite limited. The team at will still be around if you need anything, however

Daily Photo – The Mysterious Rock of Wonder

I look forward to your theories (from the boring to the surreal) of what makes these rocks move across the playa on their own!

The Mysterious Rock of Wonder

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-08-26 01:20:33
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time15
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias