Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like

Categories: Africa | Nature

In the northern part of the Afar basin in Ethiopia there is a place that scientists call a geological depression, and the locals call the Danakil depression.

If you haven't already become uncomfortable with the names alone, this place is one of the most inhospitable on the planet. The thing is that the valley is located above the fault point of three tectonic plates at once at 125 meters below sea level, which makes it one of the hottest places on earth — the average temperature there is 35 degrees Celsius, but reaches 50.

Volcanic activity heats the spring waters, bringing sulfur and iron to the surface, which leave green, yellow and orange streaks. And numerous geysers and sulfur springs ensure the complete absence of life in the valley, leaving behind only colorful acid pools and mineral lakes.

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look likeColored formations on the surface of hot springs. Photo: Eric Lafforgue (Eric Lafforgue: Getty)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look likeA camel caravan carrying bags of salt across the salt plain. Photo: Carl Court (Carl Court: Getty)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look likePhoto with an excerpt near the crater of the active Erta-Ale volcano. Photo: Mike Korostelev (Mike Korostelev: Getty)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look likePhoto: Wuthrich Didier (Shutterstock)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look likeA local man manually digs out salt blocks. Photo: Carl Court (Carl Court: Getty)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look likeSalt mountains near the Dallol volcano. Photo: Fredy Thuerig: Shutterstock)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look likeOrange waters of Lake Karum. Photo: Ruisswald (Rweisswald: Shutterstock)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look likePhoto: Eric Lafforgue (Eric Lafforgue: Getty)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Salt deposits formed around the geyser. Photo: Tanguy de Saint-Cyr (Shutterstock)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like A geyser is nearby. Photo: Tanguy de Saint-Cyr (Shutterstock)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like A source of sulfur near Lake Dallol. Photo: Einat Klein (Einat Klein: Shutterstock)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Sulfur Lake. Photo: Carl Court (Carl Court: Getty)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Erta-Ale is a constantly active basalt volcano in the center of the valley. Photo: Harry Jarvelainen (Harri Jarvelainen: Getty)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like A tourist near the Erta-Ale crater. Photo: Eric Lafforgue (Eric Lafforgue: Getty)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Frozen lava flow from the volcano crater. Photo: Anastasia Koro (Anastasia Koro: Shutterstock)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Frozen lava at the crater. Photo: Ji-Elle

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Mineral deposits near the Dallol volcano. Photo: Mikluha Maklai (Mikluha Maklai: Shutterstock)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Mushroom-like mineral deposits. Photo: Tanguy de Saint-Cyr (Shutterstock)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Sulfur deposits close-up. Photo: Carl Court (Carl Court: Getty)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Salt lakes of the valley: aerial view. Photo: Michel Toulouse (Reuters)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Photo: Carl Court (Carl Court: Getty)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Camel caravan at the entrance to the Danakil depression. Every morning hundreds of local men make their way to the hollow to extract salt, which they then sell all over the country. Photo: Zacharias Abubeker (Zacharias Abubeker: AFP)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like A branch covered with salt on the surface of the lake. Photo: Carl Court (Carl Court: Getty)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Photo: Carl Court (Carl Court: Getty)

Death Valley in Ethiopia: what does the most lifeless place on the planet look like Photo: Siegfried Modola (Siegfried Modola: Reuters)

Keywords: Horn of Africa | Depression | Volcanoes | Geyser | Valley | Land | Place | Planet | Salt | Photos | Ethiopia

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