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Johns Hopkins University
Mystery of how rocks move across Death Valley lake bed solved
Mystery of how rocks move across Death Valley lake bed solved

Researchers Richard and James Norris were awestruck by the ferocity of the cracking sounds as a frozen lake in Death Valley National Park began breaking apart under sunny skies. As they watched, huge panes of ice were lifted by light winds and pushed against rocks weighing up to 200 pounds. Unbroken, the panes became sails and the rocks began to move across the slick muddy bottom of a normally dry lake bed known as “the Racetrack Playa.” “My god, Jim, it’s happening,” Richard yelled to James, his cousin. James Norris grabbed a camera and began snapping photos. Their observations on Dec. 21 provided the final evidence in solving a mystery of the...

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