There is a place that is so barren, salty, and inhospitable that almost no life exists. It is also so straight and level that one can see the curvature of the planet. It is not, however, in another world. This place is the Bonneville Salt Flats, also known as the fastest place on Earth. The salt flats there in Utah stretch out over 30,000 acres, where racing and land speed records have been taking place since close to the invention of the automobile. If you have a related fact that you would like to have mentioned, make sure to leave a comment below or visit my contact page.
It was around 15,000 years ago when a lake the size of Lake Michigan in Western Utah named Bonneville Lake evaporated, leaving behind all of the salt that it contained. As it was surrounded by mountains, all of the salt stayed together, making a salt flat. This slat flat stretches for miles and miles and with a decently smooth surface. All of these features made it the ultimate place for racing.
Racing began around 1912, but everything really started to pick up in the 1930s, when hot-rods were becoming increasingly popular. Also, bomb casings were being converted into vehicles and being used because of the aerodynamic shape that allows them to cut through the air. It was a man named David Abbott “Ab” Jenkins who is known also as the father of the Bonneville Salt Flats held more records than anybody else and inspired other people to start racing as well.
People ever since then have been building and modifying cars to go as fast as possible and the salt flats have allowed them to do that. It’s not rare to see a car reach upwards of 300 mph on the flats. Some of these cars have even had jet engines strapped to them to help them reach the highest speeds possible. Think about the Thrust SSC which hit over 760 mph using two Rolls Royce jet engines.
Every year, Bonneville holds an event named Bonneville Speed Week, an event where people can come and watch as races and record attempts unfold right in front of them. It lasts about 6 days and during any of them, people can watch in awe as vehicles race at speed upwards of 300 or maybe even 400 mph.
This place is a racing haven that is very near and dear to people however it is disappearing right before our eyes. Companies mining for various things have taken out salt and not put it back causing it to shrink every day. There have been efforts to save the Salt Flats and they appear to be somewhat successful so far. If you would like to help support the cause, you can go to http://savethesalt.org/take-action/ .