Did You Know: Olympic National Park

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This segment introduces viewers to the fact that rainforests exist in the contiguous United States. It explains the makeup of temperate rainforests and describes the composition of the overall park landscape. 

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory (https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/).
Story adapted from Image of the Day post by Mike Carlowicz:  https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/87507/olympic-national-park

  • Image of Olympic National Park (Operational Land Imager, Landsat 8 satellite)
  • Photo of Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park (J. Blome)
  • Image of Olympic National Park (Operational Land Imager, Landsat 8 satellite)
  • Written by Claire Blome
  • Designed by Dani Player
  • Music courtesy of Associated Production Music LLC

Text, Did You Know? Olympic National Park
An aerial view of the Olympic Mountains
Text, Did You Know? There are rainforests in the U.S.
Temperate rainforests are sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Mountains in Washington State's Olympic National Park.
Temperate rainforests are cooler than tropical rainforests, but can receive just as much precipitation.
More than 450 centimeters (180 inches) of rain, mist, and snow fall each year in the wettest portions of Olympic National Park.
Its lush, green canopies are made up of coniferous and deciduous trees that thrive in Olympic's moderate temperatures, which seldom drop below freezing or rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ferns, mosses, and many other plants carpet the trees and the forest floor.
Olympic National Park covers more than 3,500 square kilometers (900,000 acres). It includes 3,000 rivers and streams, 60 named glaciers, and 1,200 native plants. In addition to temperate rainforest, the park features rocky slopes, glacier-fed rivers, sandy beaches, and islands.
This satellite view of Olympic National Park is rare. Clouds typically blanket the rainforest below.