Ventifact in the McMurdo Dry Valleys

Ventifact in the McMurdo Dry Valleys Near Antarctica's coast lie the McMurdo Dry Valleys, a long-term ecological research site funded by the NSF. The bizarre rock formation shown here, called a "ventifact," was sculpted by wind-blown particles of ice and stone. Ventifacts are common to dry, windy places like Antarctica, the high deserts, and Mars. In fact, the Dry Valleys served as practice terrain prior to NASA's launch of the Viking probe to Mars.

Photo by: Scott Borg/National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs