The hottest place on earth looks like a psychedelic neon explosion (PHOTOS)

Dec 5 2018, 12:57 am

Okay, so this is a real place that exists.

Imagine a land with blistering red rock, giant yellow slabs of sulphur, greenish-blue pools of water, steaming volcanoes, and bubbling mud. There are weird mushroom structures formed by dry, iron-rich salt crusts. Sulphur and magnesium bubble up from underground to form the colours, and a rancid smoke fills the air to go with them.

Is this a science experiment gone very, very wrong?

No no, it’s a place called Danakil Depression in Ethiopia, also known as the hottest place on Earth.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Parker (@parkwherever) on

Other nicknames include the most inhospitable place on earth, the Gateway to Hell, whatever tickles your fancy.

The geological depression makes up the northern part of the Afar Triangle in Northern Ethiopia, where three tectonic plates meet.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @mhart625 on

The area has a whopping average annual temperature of 34.4°C (highly skewed by those 45°C days), is one of the lowest places on earth at 125 metres below sea level, and receives only 100-200 mm of rainfall per year.

So it’s safe to say the area has earned its nickname as the most inhospitable place on earth, but that doesn’t mean it’s uninhabited!

The area is home to microorganisms that live in extreme conditions, aptly called extremophiles, making this a prime place to study what life on other planets could look like.

The arid region is inhabited by the nomadic Afar tribe. Their bodies have amazingly adapted to the heat, so they require less food and water than other people. You will see salt traders across the landscape with camel caravans lining the horizon.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ebro Darden (@oldmanebro) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Gary Arndt (@everythingeverywhere) on

So how do you access this other-worldly land? Simple!

You can fly into Mekele airport (likely via Addis Ababa) in Ethiopia, drive approximately 10 hours through the desert, cross a lake made of blinding mirage-like salt ponds, and hike across a couple volcanoes.

… Okay maybe that wasn’t simple. But it is definitely worth it! Here’s the photo evidence to prove it.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 35517_45 (@35517_45) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Just a Wanderer 👣👩🏻🎒 (@wenwenland) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by CNN (@cnn) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 詩歩/Shiho (死ぬまでに行きたい!世界の絶景) (@shih0107) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Tank Gonzales (@tanks_travels) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by James Finnerty (@_jamesfinnerty) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jasmin Duckhorn (@jasminduckhorn) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Aida Robles Castiñeiras (@aidaroblescast) on

 

Kellie PaxianKellie Paxian

+ Mapped
+ Bucket List
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT