Can That Viral Photo of the Fogged-In Grand Canyon Possibly Be Real?

Fogged in Grand Canyon (National Parks Service)

You may have seen this photograph (or one like it) floating around your social media feeds in the last week.

It's the Grand Canyon filled with fog. 

Gorgeous. Stunning. All the adjectives we use to describe things like space photos. They make sense here. 

But is it real? 

It certainly looked too good to be true to my eye. 

But lo and behold, these images are real, tweeted out by the National Parks Service's Grand Canyon team itself. I love when there is a simple answer to a viral photo question. 

National Parks Service

And there's a cool explanation, too. A very rare confluence of weather events—uncharacteristic precipitation, chilly temperatures, and the arrival of a high-pressure system — produced the fog, an AccuWeather meteorologist says. 

Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he also oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.


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