Mushroom Rock

October 30, 2010


Photographer: Nel Graham
Summary Author: Nel Graham; Jim FosterOctober 2010 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice

The photo above shows a grotesque looking piece of basalt called Mushroom Rock in Death Valley, California. Its odd shape results from major temperature extremes in the valley and from thousands of years of being subjected to windblown sand and salt. Once known as the Devil's Throne, Mushroom Rock has essentially disappeared from Death Valley maps, primarily because it's been further eroded by two-legged creatures. It now stands about seven feet (2 m) tall. The rock is located less than 150 feet (46 m) from an asphalt road. In the past people have broken off small chunks for souvenirs or posed on it in groups for pictures. Note that it's against the law to take anything from a National Park. Photo taken in the spring of 2008.

Photo details: Camera Maker: Panasonic; Camera Model: DMC-TZ4; Focal Length: 5.3mm (35mm equivalent: 41mm); Aperture: f/3.5; Exposure Time: 0.0008 s (1/1300); ISO equiv: 100; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: Landscape Mode; White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No (Auto); Color Space: sRGB.