105. ‘DEAD WOOD’. Deadvlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
Deadvlei is a white clay pan located near the more famous salt pan of Sossusvlei, inside the Namib-Naukluft park in Namibia. Deadvlei means ‘dead marsh’. A few hikers stand at the top of ‘Big Daddy’, one of the highest sand dunes in the Namib. When the climate changed, drought hit the area, and sand dunes encroached on the pan, which blocked the river from the area. The trees died some 600 years ago. Their skeletons are now black because the intense sun has scorched them. Though petrified, the wood does not decompose because it is so dry.