These intricate designs cover over 200 square miles of Death Valley, lining the floors of a few different basins, the most famous of which is Badwater. Nearly 300 feet below sea level, this ancient lakebed (formerly lake Manly, posthumously named) is estimated by geologists to contain a shocking 9000 feet of accumulated sediment. The top layer that you see in this picture consists of firm but slightly squishy mud, the surface of which has dried and formed into tile-like structures filled with brilliant white salt crystals.
This particular area is one I found while out exploring the middle of Cottonball Basin during a recent camping trip to Death Valley.
Walking on these vast salt flats was an incredible experience, as you could walk for miles on perfectly flat ground and still see the truck an hour after leaving it. The patterns and structures change radically both with time and with space, so these will look very different next year, or may not be here at all. Just a few dozen feet away, the patterns are completely different and may have little in common with these ones.