+

This is Death Valley.

Image from SeantvScholz/Wikimedia Commons.


Death —

Image from Wolfgangbeyer/Wikimedia Commons.

— Valley.

Image from Urban/Wikimedia Commons.

(If looks like something out of "Star Wars," that's because it totally is).

The name alone is enough to make you thirsty.

GIF from "¡Three Amigos!"

Death Valley is a basin in the Californian desert just west of the Nevada border. It is the driest, hottest place in North America. The temperature once reached a reported 134 degrees Fahrenheit!

If Death Valley is so "dead" ... what the heck are all these flowers doing there?!

The #superbloom of wild flowers in #deathvalley. Quite a site from the normal dry-as-a-bone landscape so typical for the area.
A photo posted by Peter Gaunt (@petergaunt) on


SUPERBLOOM!!!!!! #deathvalley #superbloom #wildflowers #desert #california
A photo posted by The Muir Project (@themuirproject) on

Death Valley, you see, isn't really dead.

The animals and plants that live in Death Valley have adapted to survive the long, dry, hot conditions.

Death Valley receives, on average, just over 2 inches of rain a year, so every drop is precious. Some animals and plants that live there are great at conserving water. Other animals — like the roadrunner — get their water from eating other plants and animals. And others just hunker down and try to wait it out.

"Meep meep!" — This roadrunner, probably. Image from Dawn Beattie/Flickr.


“One more ACME product, and I’ll catch that dang roadrunner.” — (Wile E.) Coyote. Image from Manfred Werner/Wikimedia Commons.

When it does rain in Death Valley, the valley is less like the surface of Tatooine and a lot more like something out of "The Wizard of Oz."

A photo posted by Death Valley National Park (@deathvalleynps) on

This year's rainfall may be super special, causing a "superbloom" to form.

"You always get flowers somewhere in Death Valley almost every month of the year," says park ranger Alan Van Valkenburg in a YouTube video from the Death Valley National Park, "but to have a big bloom like this, which we hope will become a superbloom — which is beyond all your expectations — those are quiet rare. Maybe once a decade or so."

A photo posted by Kurt Lawson (@kurt765) on

A superbloom only happens when the conditions are just right: the perfect amount of rain in the winter and spring, the sun's warmth being just right, and no hot, desiccating wind to suck the moisture away. And it looks like it might just happen in 2016.

"You have to have just the perfect conditions. You never know when it's going to happen," Van Valkenburg says. "It's a privilege to be here and get to see one of these blooms. Very few people get to see it, and it's incredible."

A photo posted by Jenn Schicker (@jennschicker) on

A superbloom's amazing riot of color doesn't last long.

"It's not a permanent thing; it's just temporary," Van Valkenburg says. "It's here for a moment, then it fades."

A photo posted by @skinnycaligeez on

If you're thinking of visiting, catching a glimpse of the superbloom isn't really the kind of thing you can put off. Soon enough, the water will be used up. The plants will shed their seeds and wait for the next rainfall. And the land will return to sweeping vistas of dusty rock and the distant, lonesome calls of desert creatures biding their time until the next superbloom of life.


Image from David Mark/Pixabay.

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

Honorees, speakers and guests on stage at We the Peoples

True

Some people say that while change is inevitable, progress is a choice. In other words, it’s a purposeful act—like when American media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner established the United Nations Foundation 25 years ago.

Keep ReadingShow less

Chris Hemsworth and daughter.

This article originally appeared on 08.27.18


In addition to being the star of Marvel franchise "Thor," actor Chris Hemsworth is also a father-of-three? And it turns out, he's pretty much the coolest dad ever.

In a clip from a 2015 interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Hemsworth shared an interesting conversation he had with his 4-year-old daughter India.

Keep ReadingShow less
True

Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

Here's what it'll look like if trans people aren't allowed to use the right bathroom

No woman should be forced to use the men's restroom, and no man should be forced to use the women's.

Picture pulled from YouTube video

Transgender man posts photos protesting a series of bill across the U.S. and Canada.

This article originally appeared on 03.31.15


This is a man named Michael Hughes.

Why is he in a women's restroom?


Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 08.20.21


Sometimes you see something so mind-boggling you have to take a minute to digest what just happened in your brain. Be prepared to take that moment while watching these videos.

Real estate investor and TikTok user Tom Cruz shared two videos explaining the spreadsheets he and his friends use to plan vacations and it's...well...something. Watch the first one:

So "Broke Bobby" makes $125,000 a year. There's that.

How about the fact that his guy has more than zero friends who budget $80,000 for a 3-day getaway? Y'all. I wouldn't know how to spend $80,000 in three days if you paid me to. Especially if we're talking about a trip with friends where we're all splitting the cost. Like what does this even look like? Are they flying in private jets that burn dollar bills as fuel? Are they bathing in hot tubs full of cocaine? I genuinely don't get it.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 05.30.15


Men struggle to comprehend the pressures women feel. The same is true of women!

Gah! We'll never get along.

This conversation between comedian Neal Brennan and Amy Poehler is a pretty good example of how hard it can be to figure life out sometimes.

Keep ReadingShow less