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Badwater Basin salt flats, Death Valley National Park.  —  Badwaterin (”paha vesi”) suolatasanko, Kuolemanlaakso, Kalifornia.

We are all submerged here, under an invisible fever-translucent sea.

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You can see the sign high up in the rock face, marking the surface (see the arrow above).

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There it is.

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And from up there to down here it’s almost 86 meters.

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Everything here is made of salt.

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Take a walk below the waves.

I’ve never seen a white land that wasn’t icy and cold to touch. Yet it must be somewhere close to 37C (100F), it gets very hot very quickly out on the flats. And it’s only March – just wait until July they say, come back then…

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The further out onto the flats you go, the more alien the landscape becomes.

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Finally the salt crust breaks into large hexagonal honycomb shapes and the pattern continues out into the horizon.

Afterwards I find myself wondering why I have no clear recollection of the sky over there. The sky must have been vast here, it should have engulfed you, make you see and sense nothing else. How come I hardly noticed? Then I understand: it must have been because it was so terribly bright and blinding. You simply didn’t look for the very same reason you do not look directly into the sun.