Badwater is a salt flat that is beneath the face of the Black Mountains that contains the lowest elevation in North America at 86 meters (282 ft) below sea level. (It is often mistakenly described as the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere, but that is actually Laguna del Carbon in Argentina at -105 meters (-344 feet)). The massive expanse of white is made up of almost pure table salt...This pan was first created by the drying-up of 30-foot (10 m) deep Recent Lake 2000 to 3000 years ago. Unlike at the Devils Golf Course, significant rainstorms flood Badwater, covering the salt pan with a thin sheet of standing water. Each newly-formed lake doesn't last long though, because the 1.9 inch (48 mm) average rainfall is overwhelmed by a 150-inch (3800 mm) annual evaporation rate. This, the nation's greatest evaporation potential, means that even a 12-foot (3.7 m) deep, 30 mile (50 km) long lake would dry up in a single year. While flooded, some of the salt is dissolved, then is redeposited as clean, sparkling crystals when the water evaporates.