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Badlands National Park turns 44 © DEEPOL by plainpictureJoin Our GIFs Group
Forty-four years ago today, a rugged, inhospitable area of South Dakota was designated a national park to protect the many fossils found there. The region has a 12,000-year history as hunting grounds for Native Americans. In fact, the name we know it by today, Badlands, comes from the Lakota phrase "mako sica," which literally translates to "bad lands." Covering nearly 380 square miles, its harshly eroded rock formations make it one of the most distinct landscapes in the United States.