-  The Badlands celebrates a milestone  ((© Tetra Images/Getty Images))

Badlands National Park, found in the Midwest US state of South Dakota, was officially designated a national park on this day in 1940, ensuring 98,000 hectares of picturesque landscape are protected, for all to enjoy. It first gained the nickname ‘badlands’ from the Lakota people (a Native American tribe), a nod to the extreme temperatures, lack of water, and rocky terrain. But it’s not all rugged land here. The national park includes prairie as well—home to bison, deer, and the endangered black-footed ferret, nicknamed ‘prairie bandit.’