For decades, scientists wondered how these stones moved on their own.
數十年來,科學家們都好奇這些石頭到底是如何自行移動的。

   There is a place in the United States called the Racetrack Playa in the northwest corner of Death Valley National Park. It's a dried-up lake in one of America's hottest, driest, and lowest places. It's also home to rocks that move across the ground all by themselves.
   These strange rocks have been known for years to move across the dry ground and leave behind long, twisting trails. There have been many explanations for their strange movement, including everything from heavy winds to strange ice formations. Some people even thought it might be aliens or some magical force. In 2014, two scientists set up an experiment to figure it out once and for all.
   What the scientists found was that, under very particular weather conditions, rain would freeze overnight into thin sheets of ice. Then in the morning, the sun would warm the ice, which enables even a breeze to move the rocks across the partly melted ice. The results finally explained the mystery of Death Valley's sailing rocks as well as similar moving rocks around the world. While aliens moving rocks across the desert would have been amazing, the complex science behind the sailing stones is also pretty cool.

  1. decade n. 十年
    The toy company has been in business for two decades.
    這間玩具公司已經營運二十年了。
  2. magical a. 神祕的;神奇的;有魔力的
    No medicine is so magical that it can cure all illnesses.
    沒有一種藥神奇到能醫治所有的疾病。
  3. figure...out / figure out...  查清楚∕弄明白……
    I can't figure out why Johnson won't move out of this dangerous neighborhood.
    我無法理解為何強生不搬離這個危險的住宅區。
  4. once and for all  徹底地,一勞永逸地
    For your health, you should quit smoking once and for all.
    為了你的健康,你應該徹底戒菸。
  5. particular a. 特殊的;特定的
    This particular type of corn was introduced to the country 200 years ago.
    這種特殊的玉米是在兩百年前被引入該國的。
  6. freeze vi. & vt. 結冰,使結冰
    When the temperature is below zero, water will freeze.
    溫度降至零下時,水就會結成冰。
  7. enable vt. 使能夠;使可能
    The magical ring enabled the superhero to fly.
    魔戒可以讓那個超級英雄飛起來。
  8. complex a. 複雜的;難以理解的
    Professor Lai has the ability to express the most complex ideas clearly.
    賴教授能夠將最複雜的觀念講解得清清楚楚。

twisting a. 蜿蜒曲折的
explanation n. 解釋;理由
formation n. 形成物
alien [ `elIJn ] n. 外星人
experiment n. 實驗
condition n. 情況;條件
partly adv. 部分地
mystery n. 謎,神祕的事物

                    在美國死亡谷國家公園的西北角有一個叫作賽馬場鹽湖的地方。它是位在美國最炎熱、最乾燥和最低窪地區之中的一個乾涸湖。它也是那些在地面上自行移動的石頭之所在地。
   這些奇怪的石頭因多年來在乾燥的地面上移動、留下綿長且曲折的痕跡而為人所知。有許多人針對它們奇怪的活動作出不少解釋,包含從強風到奇怪的結冰現象。有些人甚至認為這可能是外星人或是一些神祕力量所造成的。2014 年,兩位科學家開始了一項實驗來徹底解開這個謎團。
   科學家發現,在非常特殊的天氣情況下,雨水會在一夜之間凍結成一層層的薄冰。然後到了早晨,陽光使冰融化之後,即便是一陣微風都能讓這些石頭在部分融化的薄冰上移動。這個結果終於解釋了死亡谷移動的石頭和世界各地類似的移動石頭之謎。雖然外星人移動石頭橫越沙漠可能會讓人感到不可思議,但移動石頭背後的複雜科學也很酷。 

 

引用自常春藤網路書城https://www.ivy.com.tw/index.php 

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