Science: Shrimp in the Desert

Bicycle Lake, near Barstow on California's Mojave Desert, is no place for canoes or water skiing. It is a shallow depression normally filled with 5,000 sq. yds. of dry, cracked mud. Once in a great while rain covers its surface with an inch or so of water, which evaporates in days. The rest of the time the "lake" is as dry as a stove lid.

Last month an unprecedented cloudburst filled Bicycle Lake to the depth of 18 inches in its deepest place. For a while the lake was a saucer of muddy water. Then, Army tank men from nearby Camp Irwin...

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