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Living in Salt by Henry Bortman

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Henry Bortman Henry Bortman
Explore score
0.62 Gigapixels
Date added
Jun 02, 2011
Date taken
Jun 02, 2011

This 360-degree panorama was taken from near the eastern edge of an unnamed salar (salt flat) near Yungay, Chile, in the Atacama Desert. The salar is a large shallow bowl that, millions of years ago, was filled with water. When the water evaporated, it left behind these salt deposits. The small formations in the foreground are made of halite, common table salt. Bacteria live inside them, the only life that can survive in the hyperarid part of the Atacama, where it rains perhaps once a decade. (You will notice a few trees in the image. They are not native; they were planted by researchers over a decade ago and are able to maintain by sinking very deep roots into the subsurface water table.) A few images in the panorama didn't record properly so there are some solid-color filled-in areas. Sorry about that.

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