Science & Tech

Strange new lake fills itself up after appearing in Death Valley

Strange new lake fills itself up after appearing in Death Valley

It’s called Death Valley for a reason, but one of the harshest environments on Earth is home to a strange new lake which continues to fill itself up.

It’s the driest landscape in the US, but extreme weather conditions in 2023 caused a lake to appear there and now it’s getting deeper by the day.

The California national park suffered heavy rainfall during Hurricane Hilary and while at first the lake it formed looked to be receding. The lake had begun shrinking after it reached a point of being seven miles long and four miles wide, but the levels are now rising again.

What’s behind this unusual occurrence? It’s all due to condensed water vapour, known as an atmospheric river, that turns into heavy rain after coming into contact with the land.

So, despite Badwater Basin in the valley being home to an enormous salt flat before now, water levels continue to rise in unprecedented fashion.

Death Valley National Park ranger Abby Wines said in a statement: “Most of us thought the lake would be gone by October,” said Death Valley National Park ranger Abby Wines in a statement. “We were shocked to see it still here after almost six months.”

Scientific studies of lakes like this aren’t always conducted quite so quickly – in fact, the largest lake ever to have graced the Earth’s surface existed some 11 million years ago, but it took until December 2023 for it to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.

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