Why Is Death Valley Littered With Fried Eggs?

Death Valley Fried Egg Video Leads to Copycats Making a Mess

Plants, wildlife and waterways – these are the things that you can routinely expect to see when you head out to one of the country’s many national parks. But trek out to Death Valley National Park and you’ll spot something else entirely: fried eggs. Lots and lots of fried eggs.

Death Valley is one of the hottest places on the planet and holds the record for the highest air temperature ever recorded. The scorching temps mean visitors to the park regularly crack eggs on the ground in an attempt to fry them.Over the past few weeks, a heat wave has kept temperatures hovering above 120 F, leading increasing numbers of park visitors to attempt the egg science experiment.

This was made worse after a BBC correspondent and National Park employee shared a video of their attempt to fry an egg by cracking it into a frying pan. Unfortunately other park visitors repeating the experiment have been cracking the eggs directly onto the ground, keeping clean up crews on their toes.

A spokesperson for the National Park urged visitors not to litter, adding that, “an employee’s posting of frying an egg in a pan in Death Valley was intended to demonstrate how hot it can get here, with the recommendation that if you do this, use a pan or tin foil and properly dispose of the contents.”

How Hot Is It In Death Valley? Hot Enough To Draw Heat-Seeking Tourists

Death Valley temperatures
David McNew, Getty Images

Hotels in Death Valley are packed with visitors wanting to experience some of the hottest temperatures ever measured on the planet. As a historic heat wave engulfs the West, Death Valley hit 124 degrees on Saturday, and could eventually tie or surpass the 134-degree record it made in the summer of 1913.

Chris Carlson, an Associated Press photographer, explains what it’s like to be in triple-digit heat:

I know what to expect in Death Valley: Unrelenting heat so bad it makes my eyes hurt, as if someone is blowing a hair dryer in my face. I don’t leave CDs or electronics in the car because they could melt or warp. I always carry bottles of water.

But I still make mistakes. I forgot my oven mitts, the desert driving trick I learned as a teenager after burning my hands too many times on the steering wheel. And my rental car is black, adding several degrees to the outside temperature of 127. When the digital thermometer at the Furnace Creek visitor center ticks up to 128, a few people jump out of their cars to take a picture.

But how does a picture prove you were in a place with extreme heat? Tourists are having fun frying eggs on rocks, baking cookies in their rental cars and watching their shoes melt. If that sounds like fun to you, there are two hotels in Death Valley. Be sure to call ahead and ask about vacancies. This is one place you don’t want to get stranded.

Photo Of The Day: Melting Landscape

Photo of the day - Croatia melting landscape

Today’s Photo of the Day may look like a painting, but according to Flickr user GogoTheGogo, the effect came from the heat of the boat rather than a post-processing effect. The melting landscape from the Croatian island of Cres is a fitting embodiment of the hazy dog days of summer, which will reach its end for many of us this weekend with the arrival of Labor Day. We may miss the long days and the beach trips, but the humidity and stickiness will be gladly traded for crisp fall days and comfy sleeping weather.

Post your coolest natural effects in the Gadling Flickr pool for another Photo of the Day and enjoy your last weekend of summer.

Photo Of The Day: Summer In The City

Photo of the day - Children in Laos

It’s only April, but many of us have already switched to iced coffee and put away our sweaters. Now’s the time to start thinking about summer vacation, whether you plan to explore a national park or soak up the culture in a city like Havana. When you’re a kid, summer is all about playing outside and staying cool, preferably with lots of ice cream and water projectiles. Today’s Photo of the Day by Flickr user ahalvoresen is from Luang Prabang, Laos, where some local children are beating the heat with every water source available. Makes me nostalgic for pool parties and Super Soakers, before summer became a time to complain about high electricity bills and humidity. Enjoy it while it lasts, we’ll soon be back to complaining about the cold.

Share your summer travel plans with us by adding your favorite shots to the Gadling Flickr pool for another Photo of the Day.

Gadling Gear Review: Heat Holders Socks

I suffer terribly from cold feet; it’s why I don’t cheap out on socks. It’s also why I have one of those electric heater mats on the floor under my desk (a gift from my mate who sometimes just nails the gift giving with weird yet supremely likeable prezzies). Socks are way low on the scale of glam gear down with quick-dry underwear and refillable three ounce bottles, but they’re essential, and having warm feet can really make the difference between a lousy day or a good one.

Because of my terminally chilly paws, I was keen to see if Heat Holders are any better than the merino brands that stuff my sock drawer (SmartWool, IceBreaker, Dahlgren, and Darn Tough Vermont) at keeping my feet warm. (I am a fan of good socks, you may have guessed.) The short answer? Well, sort of.

I have a strong preference for natural fibers, it’s a “less plastic stuff” thing. I’m not totally naive; I do know that sometimes, the synthetics are the way to go. I’m just not that keen to spend a couple of hours waxing a canvas raincoat because I want to go with heavy cotton over far superior modern materials like GoreTex or PolarTech. Heat Holders are an acrylic poly blend; there’s nothing particularly natural about them.

They feel fine, though. They have a deep pile fleecy inside, they’re kind of cuddly, furry, even, a little bit like the inside or your lambswool slippers. (No, I don’t have those. The husband does and they’re sweet.) Outside, they’re, uh, a little plastic-y. I’ve been spoiled by merino, which I tend to prefer. But it’s the outside of the sock, who cares?

Here’s my issue with these socks. They’re really bulky. All that fluffy really does work to keep your feet warmer, and they’re great for sleeping in. But I couldn’t get them in most of my shoes. I’m not totally sold on the idea that adding bulk is the best way to stay warm. I get it — loft is how you hold heat and the loft that these socks somehow manage to provide, even after a full day’s wear, works. They worked great in my wellies, which are a little big, but I couldn’t wear them with many of my other winter boots. I’m wearing mine around the house and with my rain boots out in the wet, but for travel? Nope, too bulky.

The marketing text on the elaborate packaging says that these socks are “seven times warmer than your basic cotton sock.” That’s probably true. But I’m not sure they’re seven times warmer than some of the wool or alpaca fiber socks I’ve got, and that’s a more useful comparison.
Heat Holders socks come in a few styles: stripey, long, and in a slipper sock. Their original sock goes for just just under $20.00.