Death Valley Reportedly Disappears Under Massive Lake

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Jared Stokes Contributor
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Over the past six months torrential storms have reportedly flooded Death Valley National Park and caused a lake to appear, much to the delight of kayaking tourists.

Water usually evaporates much more quickly than it can fill the valley’s Badwater Basin, which rests at 282 feet below sea level, USA Today reported. It is reportedly one of the most hot and dry locations on the North American continent, as well as one of the furthest below sea level. The basin typically receives an annual rainfall of approximately 2 inches, according to the outlet.

The valley floor has received a record 4.9 inches due to heavy rains the past six months, producing a lake, a National Park Service press release said. Lake Manly, as the body of water has come to be known, first formed in August in the aftermath of Hurricane Hillary, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory. It endured throughout the fall and winter until it was met with another Californian storm earlier this month, USA Today reported. The winter storm reportedly caused flash floods all across Southern California. (RELATED: REPORT: Maintenance Worker Finds Man Dead At Death Valley National Park In California)

The water levels in Death Valley are reportedly expected to drop in a matter of weeks, Park Ranger Nichole Andler stated, according to The Associated Press (AP).

“If it’s not once-in-a-lifetime, it’s nearly,” Andler said, according to the AP. “It’s the lowest point in North America. So it’s going to collect water, but to have as much water as we have now — and for it to be as deep and lasting as long as it has — this is extremely uncommon,” Andler reportedly stated. “If it’s not once-in-a lifetime-it’s nearly.”

Andler warned that kayakers have limited time to enjoy the lake, the AP reported. The lake will reportedly “be here into April. If we’re lucky, May. And then it’ll be a muddy, wet mess, and then it’ll dry out into those gorgeous white salt flats.”