Rare ‘super bloom’ has hikers flocking to Death Valley

While it might sound like an oxymoron, Death Valley is bursting to life.

Thanks to a perfect combination of seasonal rains and mild temperatures, Death Valley National Park, the spot that holds the record for the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth, is experiencing a “super bloom” — an event that happens about once every 10 years where an abundance of wildflowers bloom throughout the park, blanketing the normally barren desert landscape in color.

The park hasn’t seen an event like this since 2005. Death Valley normally receives about 2 inches of rainfall in any particular year, but in October 2015 it saw three unusual storms in quick succession that dropped more than 3 inches.

As a result, dormant wildflower seeds were awoken, and the winter rains that have continued to occasionally hit the park have been enough to bring millions of wildflowers to life.

“I never imagined that so much life could exist here in such staggering abundance and intense beauty,” Alan Van Valkenburg, a park ranger who has lived in Death Valley for 25 years, told Al Jazeera.

That sentiment seems to be shared online by those who have visited the park, many of whom used the hashtag #superbloom to document all of Death Valley’s floral beauty:

#superbloom #deathvalley #sunset #desert #adventure

A photo posted by MissWez (@meggywez) on

#Flowers for days! #Superbloom #deathvalley

A photo posted by Andrew Galdi (@andrewgaldi) on

for #deathvalley #superbloom #wildflowers

A photo posted by Della (@dellybean) on

All of that vibrant color isn’t expected to last forever: Wildflowers tend to live short lives, and with the park’s stifling spring heat just around the corner, the bloom isn’t likely to last too long.

But for at least the week at hand, rain in Death Valley looks like it will be a constant, and the wildflowers will likely continue to spread throughout the park.

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