USA, California – Death Valley National Park
In the east of California there is a place which boasts with the highest ever recorded air temperature. It happened in the summer of 193. The temperature attacked shocking 56,3 degrees of Celsius. Just remember how awful it was last summer when 35 degrees was daily temperature in Prague. Also, the highest ever night air temperature was recorded here – 43 °C.
What we talk about is Death Valley. However, it is hardly just a valley and rather an entire area which is a national park and covers 13 thousand km2. Of course, Death Valley would hardly be a national park if only what was there was wasteland.
The climate is pretty hostile. Summer are long and extremely hot. The temperatures are even higher than usually be given that the valley is about 80 meters below sea level. Winters are short with low precipitations.
Still, people have lived in the area for centuries. First evidence of human settlement comes from the seventh millennium BCE. Some Timbisha Native Americans are only Native Americans who are still living in the area. The tribe named the valley Tumpisa - a type of ochre color which is made of clay typical for the valley.
Only in the 19th century the name Death Valley appeared. Then many people were headed to California because of the Californian gold rush. First Europeans then stumbled upon Death Valley, or rather they got lost there.
For couple of weeks they couldn’t find the way from the area. Also they couldn’t find any water, no wonder when average precipitation there is around 60 mm a year.
They were running low on supplies. They had to kill their oxen and use wood from carriages to make fire. When they eventually found the way out of the valley as a farewell they gave it its morbid name and it stuck to it.
Only in 1933, President Hoover declared Death Valley a national park. There is a lot to see.
Regardless the hostility of the climate, dozens of mammals live there (coyotes, skunks, lynx, or horses). Night-living creatures thrive in this environment, logical given high daily temperatures. Then, there are more than 300 hundred bird species, and 36 reptile species. Flora is really rich here as well. The higher altitude the higher humidity, therefore, bigger and more diverse plants than in lowlands.
GPS: 36°30'19.1"N 117°04'42.8"W
Text: Maxim Kucer
Photo: Wikipedia.org: Roger469, Acroterion, National Park Service, Tuxyso, Photographersnature, Luca Galuzzi, pixabay.com
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