Kelso Dunes: California’s Musical Sand Dunes

California‘s Mojave Desert is full of unexpected magic. Plenty of visitors have found themselves pleasantly startled by a musical rumbling as they gaze in wonder at the desolate yet beautiful sandy landscape. The rumbling is emanating from the Kelso Dunes—which are one of several sand dunes worldwide that create a unique “singing” vibration when the sands shift.

The Kelso Dunes are the remnants of an ancient lakebed which dried up thousands of years ago. The sun-bleached sands of the Kelso Dunes rumble and sing the loudest when conditions are particularly warm and dry. If you want to induce the loudest rumble possible, try standing atop the Kelso Dunes with several of your closest friends. The weight of numerous people shuffling about will create a cascade of sand that will make your eardrums and your skin tingle. The Kelso Dunes are responsible for the Mojave Desert’s most haunting and memorable song.

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