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Death Valley: A vast space, full of surprises

Dried up lake bed in Death Valley

Photo: Randy Lemoine/Flickr

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Dried out

When all the water has evaporated from a temporary lake, the salt typically forms these hexagonal shapes. This is actually an incredibly thin layer of salt covering mud. It is all too easy to leave footprints and tire tracks, so vehicles are restricted to the nearby roads to protect this fragile space.