The Gateway To Hell – Danakil Depression

Danakil Depression

Danakil Depression, one of Ethiopia’s most renowned tourist sites, is known as one of the strangest locations on earth, a doorway to hell, and even a country of death. The hot springs, acid pools, salt mountains, and steaming fissures make it appear to be another planet, which explains why scientists utilize this location to conduct studies on other planets in the solar system.

How Did The Danakil Depression Form?

The Danakil Depression was produced as a result of continental drift between the African and Asian tectonic plates. As the plates drifted away at a rate of 1-2 cm per year. They left behind the Danakil Depression, a geological depression (or Afar Depression).

The Danakil Depression is located at the intersection of three tectonic plates. The Afar Depression affects Djibouti, Eritrea, and Ethiopia’s Afar area. The Danakil Depression stands more than 100m below sea level and has some of the world’s most alien landscapes. It is located in the northern half of this depression.

Aside from its interesting geology, the Danakil contains the answers to some of biology’s most perplexing puzzles. In 1974, researchers discovered the remains of ‘Lucy,’ an early predecessor of modern humans going back 3.2 million years, in the Danakil Depression (now on display at the National Museum in Addis Ababa). The Dallol Crater’s acidic springs have drawn scientists looking for extremophile bacteria in their quest to understand the origins of life on Earth as well as the possibility of early-stage life on Mars.

About The Climate

The weather is scorching hot, and rainfall is scarce. The presence of yellow, orange, green, red, blue, and green colors is due to sea and rainwater from neighboring shores. It is being absorbed into sulfuric lakes and heating up owing to magma. When sea salt combines with minerals in magma, it produces these stunning colors. As the heat drains the water, colorful crust-like layers form throughout the terrain, mixing mystically with the depression’s cooler turquoise lakes.

Erta Ale, The World’s Longest Lava Lake

Erta Ale is distinctive. Not only is it the world’s lowest volcano. But it also has the world’s longest-existing lava lake, one of just six in the globe. A lava lake is as awesome as it sounds. Standing on the rim of an active volcano and witnessing the molten rock bubble away is mesmerizing, humbling, and terrifying. Throwing rocks into the lava is also a lot of fun.

Getting to Erta Ale in the Danakil Depression is a difficult task. You’ll be urged to hike for 3-4 hours, including a continuous ascent up the ever-steepening curve to the rim after the sun sets and takes a few degrees of heat with it. Nighttime lows during the July visit were a cool 35C (95F). You’ll watch the display for about an hour before setting your camp just a few hundred meters from the lava lake. Finally, you’ll get up a few hours later to enjoy the sunrise from the brink.

Afrera Lake, The Dead Sea Of Ethiopia

Lake Afrera, fed by underground streams, would be a desert oasis if it weren’t for the sky-high quantities of salt and sulfuric acid. Instead, it is a 100 km2 (39 sq. mi) area of lifeless water farmed by residents for its minerals. But don’t let the lack of life deter you from diving in! Lake Afrera is Ethiopia’s Dead Sea; human bodies float like corks in the water. The minerals in the water are great for the skin. If you choose your location properly, you may even come across freshwater hot springs (because everything is hot around here) that will assist you in removing the salt crust.

Check Out The World’s Toughest Workers

Consider this as a career opportunity. Your workday consists of 8-10 hours of intense manual labor cutting slabs of salt from the surface of a lake in 50C (122F) heat with no shelter. Welcome to the world of the salt miners of Lake Karum. An infinite stretch of white in the Danakil Depression near Dallol.

It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. After ten minutes of doing nothing but talking to these people, I was on the edge of passing out. But, like machines, they continued to saw, lever, slice, and dice, pausing only to shoo the flies away.

Explore Dollol’s Otherworldly Sulfur Hot Springs

At the sulfur hot springs of Dallol, you’ll wonder if being the ham in a heat sandwich has finally gotten to you. With the sun above and the springs below providing tremendous heat. You might be puzzled as to whether the brilliant hues of this exotic scene are the work of nature or heatstroke. I can guarantee you that it is (almost certainly) the former.

These springs will most likely serve up any color of the rainbow. While the Danakil Depression is known for being one of the most yellow places on the planet. It also has shades of red, blue, and green. And more than make up for the sulfur’s obvious scent of rotten egg. It takes about an hour to get used to. Ensure your camera batteries are fully charged before heading to this photographer’s paradise.

Discover How Afars Live

The Afar, the local nomadic tribes not only survive but thrive in this inhospitable environment. They have been dubbed the most challenging people on the planet. They’re scattered across the Danakil Depression, usually in unexpected places. Learning about their culture and way of life was one of the more profound experiences I had on the journey.

They have a reputation for being reclusive and distrustful of outsiders, so don’t expect to hear much from them. They’re usually seen floating between their houses and tending to their camels.

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