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Spirit of the Desert

Sunrise over Deadvlei, one of the clay pans in the Sossusvlei region in Namibia's Namib Desert.


Millions of years ago, the Tsauchab River flowed to the sea, on the coast of what is now Namibia. The encroaching dunes, however, blocked its path, causing the river to finish among the dunes, depositing its silty sediment among a number of clay pans, or 'vlei'. Deadvlei itself is so named for the dead camelthorn trees it contains. These were living during wetter times, when the vlei was flooded with water, but, when the climate changed, they died. Due to the dryness of the desert, they have not decayed. It is believed the trees are over nine hundred years old.


3-shot panorama taken using the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II using the shift function.

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Taken on January 18, 2012