Badwater Basin is America's most badass Martian landscape

The lowest point in America is full of growing crystals and its own Badwater snail.

Badwater Basin is comprised of over 200 seemingly endless miles of salt flats. As North America's lowest elevation temporary lakes are formed after flooding from Death Valley's 9,000-mile drainage system. Once the water evaporates, however, minerals concentrate and the only thing left is salt. There are layers upon layers of salt crust at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park.

There are some lifeforms that are able to survive in the harsh salt flats. For instance, deilcate crystals, and some animal and plant life, such as pickleweed, and even insects, like the Badwater snail. As such, vehicles are not allowed off road in Death Valley. Badwater Basin is home to the largest protected body of salt flats in the entire world.


There's a "small spring-fed pool of "bad water" next to the road in a sink" which is actually undrinkable, hence the name "bad water." 


The salt flats are actually quite treacherous, as some lead to sinkholes and all are virtually toxic.


This is what a storm looks like at Badwater Basin.


This salt pool has crystals growing inside it. These pools are actually sinkholes in the salt crust.

The salt flats are particularly enchanting at twilight.

Lake Manley is a temporary lake created by rainwater that drains into the lowest part of the basin.


More insane geological wonders to visit:

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Places explored in this article:

This was originally written for Roadtrippers, a great resource for anyone interested in travel.
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