Ventifact, linguistically derived from the Latin ventus (wind) plus factus (a form of the verb “to make”), is a stone shaped, altered, or faceted by windblown sand or other particles. At first, wind will wear away the upwind side so that a facet or bevel is formed. As the wind changes direction, or if the stone is overturned, other bevels may form. Shifting wind may be the explanation for a dreikanter (a three-faceted ventifact). Large numbers of ventifacts can be found east of Afton Canyon in the east-central Mojave Desert, and in the area locally known as Ventifact Ridge in Death Valley.

Arthur Sze