The death valley National monument is situated in the Southern California near Nevada border in the United States Of America. It extends to about 225 km. long with a width varying from 8 km. to 24 km. This place is also the hottest and driest place in North America. It is the lowest dry land in Western Hemisphere- with its lowest point being 86 m below the sea level.
Here, sometimes the temperature even touches 49° C. Because of these harsh conditions, the valley experiences a very scanty rainfall. The average yearly rainfall is only 5 cm. Whatever pools get formed at different places are extremely salty. Since the temperature is torrid, not a single blade of grass grows here.
The entire valley is full of sand. Due to the harsh conditions, the human existence is almost impossible here. During the famous gold rush of America, the treasure hunters had to cross this valley and many of them lost their lives due to exhaustion and thirst. Because of these deaths, this valley came to be called as the Death Valley.
In the 1870s when gold was discovered in the nearby mountains, thousands of skeletons of animals left behind by the pioneers marked the death valley trail. 1n 1933 this area was declared a national monument. Now about half a million people visit the valley every year.
Though the whole valley is just like a desert, animals like rabbits, squirrels, kangaroo rats etc. are found here in abundance. According to a survey conducted in 1890, it was declared that some 78 kinds of birds and animals exist in the valley.