In Star Trek, a region near Bajor and Cardassia (in the DMZ) which contains a plasma nebula. The Badlands often have storms of charged particles and render sheilds, cloaks, and sensors partialy or toataly inoperable and were therfore used by The Maquis to hide from Cardassian, Federation, and Dominion ships.


"the wind in my heart
the dust in my head
the wind in my heart
the dust in my head
the wind in my heart
the dust in my head"


the wind in my heart
the dust on my hands
the wind in my heart
the dust on my hands
the wind in my heart
the dust on my hands

the wind that hurts
the dust that heals
the wind that hurts
the dust that heals
the wind that hurts
the dust that heals

the wind holds
the dust hangs
the wind holds
the dust hangs
the wind holds
the dust hangs



"Badlands" generally refers to a barren, eroded landscape of valleys and ridges dug into a plateau. Dry climates, high winds and sparse vegetation result in a moonlike scape of caked mud, rock and clay hewn into fantastic forms by centuries of Nature's unending abuse. The term has origin in the United States where the Lakota people, the western division of the Sioux Nation, dubbed a large section of prairie as "mako sica." French trappers that came later described it as "les mauvaises terres á traverser." Later still, immigrants from all over Europe tricked the Lakota people, slaughtered them at Wounded Knee and dubbed an even larger section of prairie as "South Dakota," in honor of the noble Sioux people.

"Mako sica" translated to "bad land." The name was stolen with the land. The land was, quite clearly, "bad."



The Badlands, aka "Big Badlands" or "Badlands of the White River," is a 2,000 sq mi/5,180 sq km region of SW South Dakota and NW Nebraska that epitomizes this topography. The gullies reach as far down as 500 feet and summer temperatures are upwards of ninety degrees fahrenheit, with a stiff, hot wind. An occasional muddy puddle with a snake dodging the sun, dust and tumble weeds - an alien moon planet created by a god who fucking hated alien moon planets. When winter rolls around you can expect random amounts of hail, snow, sleet and freezing rain. Oh - and that 'hot wind' is now 'really cold' instead. A midwestern wind, stubborn and focused. A prairie wind.

64,000 acres of the park is designated "official wilderness" and is the proving ground for the most endangered land mammal in North America - the black-footed ferret. You may also bump into bison, black-tailed prairie dogs, antelope (you can't hardly swing a dead black-footed ferret without hitting an antelope), coyotes, bighorn sheep and mule deer. A prairie is defined as a place too dry for trees and too wet for desert, fundamentally a grass land. 56 species of grass and hundreds of species of wildflowers grow in the park, which explains the grazing animals. Grass can handle wind, fire and drought and the flowered fields can be quite beautiful when not ravaged by drought and wind-fueled fires. Most of the animals here simply gave up and died eons ago - the ground you'll be walking on is littered with 35 million years of bones.


"Fancy yourself on the hottest day in summer in the hottest spot of such a place without water - without an animal and scarce an insect astir - without a single flower to speak pleasant things to you and you will have some idea of the utter loneliness of the Bad Lands."

-Paleontologist Thaddeus Culbertson




Humans have been here for 11,000 years - mammoth hunters, bison hunters, the Arikara, the Sioux. They survived by hunting the animals that ate the grass. Millions of years before the hunters these lands were walked by the Leptomeryx, the Oreodont, the Paleolagus, the Metamynodon - ancient ancestors of the deer, sheep and rabbits that live in the lands today. The Metamynodon was actually a sort of "water rhinocerous" - he probably died pretty hard.

The Badlands were authorized as a U.S. national park in 1929 (the perfect place to forget your depression) and designated a national monument in 1978. Tens of thousands flock there yearly to cycle, hike and camp - each visitor paying a fee of up to $10 to enter a place quite sensibly called "Bad Land".







Every goddamned minute.






-- U.S. National Parks and Monuments --



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