Where Is the Lowest Point In the United States and How Did Badwater Basin In California Get Its Name?

The lowest point, at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, is Bad Water, in Death Valley, California.

Badwater Basin is an endorheic basin, and the accumulated salts of the surrounding basin make it undrinkable, thus giving it the name.

However, the pool does have animal and plant life, including pickleweed, aquatic insects, and the Badwater snail.

Significant rainstorms flood the valley bottom periodically, but the standing water does not last long because of the extremely high evaporation rate in the area.

Repeated freeze–thaw cycles gradually push the thin salt crust on the basin into hexagonal honeycomb shapes.

A sign that marks “sea level” is painted on the cliff above Badwater which is popular with tourists.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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