Sand dunes dominate the landscape in the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area.
BLM
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
ATV rider heads into sunset. Hiker Algodones Dunes Sunflower Off-Highway Vehicle Slipface
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Take it Outside OHV!Paw prints.



A gecko is swirled up and into a passing dust devil.  Illustration:BLM/Joy Fatooh

Flying gecko?

Looking like a miniature tornado, a dust devil forms when the sun's rays are most intense, around noon or soon after.  The sun heats the air near the ground, causing it to rise.  Nearby air flows in and up to replace the rising air, causing the whole thing to spin, or rotate.

Near the center of the action the dust devil is spinning fastest, sometimes as fast as 60 mph.

While this wind speed is not enough to lift your dog into the air, it is possible that small lizards caught in its path have taken to the sky.

          
          Believe It or Not!

Wind speeds of 11 mph are needed to get the sand moving, and speeds of at least 30 mph are needed to get sand grains airborne.

 

         It's all true!


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