Badlands National Parks 45th anniversary  

Badlands National Parks 45th anniversary

The strange stripes in our homepage image reveal tiers of fossil beds in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Beneath the multicolored surface lies the land"s history, including the remains of ancient horses, camels, tigers, and rhinos. The barren landscape, dotted with pinnacles and prairies, was formed by two geological processes: deposition, where the layered rocks were gradually stacked up on top of each other by inland seas, winds, and rivers over millions of years, and erosion, which began about 500,000 years ago. The Red Shirt Table, at 3,340 feet, is the highest point in the park, which was established on this day in 1978. It protects 379 square miles of rocky buttes, pinnacles, and prairies. This inhospitable terrain was called "Mako Sica," or "land bad" by the Oglala Lakota people, who have lived here for hundreds of years. Still thirsty for knowledge? Visit the national park"s museum collection. There are over 360,000 objects that have a lot more to reveal!

© Grant Ordelheide/Tandem Stills + Motion

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