Death Valley, a desert valley located in California, is widely known as been one of the driest, hottest and most fascinating places on earth.
Sitting in the northern Mojave Desert and bordering the Great Basin Desert, the summertime temperatures can match that of the brutally harsh deserts of the Middle East.
To put the severe heat temperatures into perspective, Death Valley’s ‘Furnace Creek’ currently holds the record for the highest reliably recorded air temperature on Earth at 56.7 °C. On top of that, the highest recorded natural ground surface temperature on Earth was clocked at 93.9 °C.
So, with that in mind, the discovery of a lake in the area has caught a few people slightly off guard. The result of heavy rainfall earlier in the month has 10-mile-long ephemeral lake, it has been estimated. The result of extremely dry climate has created soil that absorbs water at an extremely slow rate.
Photographer Elliott McGucken, who also writes books on physics and was in the area after the storm, told SFGate: “It’s a surreal feeling seeing so much water in the world’s driest place.
“There’s an irony even though I couldn’t get down to Badwater Basin. Overall, I think these shots are probably more unique,” he added. “Nature presents this ephemeral beauty, and I think a lot of what photography is about is searching for it and then capturing it.”
He continued: “I believe we would need aerial photos to accurately determine the size. From the road, it looks like it stretched from approximately Harmony Borax Works to Salt Creek right after the rain, which is a little less than 10 road miles. But, the road does curve a bit, so it’s not an entirely accurate guess.”