A Photo Trip to Ethiopia's Danakil Depression
A Photo Trip to Ethiopia's Danakil Depression

In the Afar region of northern Ethiopia, lies a vast, tortured, desert plain called the Danakil Depression. Danakil lies about 410 ft (125 m) below sea level, and is one of the hottest and most inhospitable places on Earth— temperatures average 94 degrees Fahrenheit (34.5 Celsius) but have been recorded above 122 Fahrenheit (50 Celsius). Numerous sulfur springs, volcanoes, geysers, acidic pools, vast salt pans, and colorful mineral-laden lakes dot the area, which formed above the divergence of three tectonic plates. Volcanic activity heats spring water, bringing sulfur and iron to the surface, leaving behind yellow, green, and orange deposits. For centuries, locals have been trekking in with camel caravans to mine the salt by hand, and in recent years, a few have been guiding tourists into the alien-looking landscape.

Colorful features of one of several hot springs in the Danakil Depression, in Ethiopia's Afar region, photographed on February 26, 2016.

Colorful features of one of several hot springs in the Danakil Depression, in Ethiopia's Afar region, photographed on February 26, 2016. Eric Lafforgue / Art in All of Us / Corbis via Getty

A camel caravan, carrying salt that was mined by hand, is led across a salt plain in the Danakil Depression on January 22, 2017, near Dallol, Ethiopia.

A camel caravan, carrying salt that was mined by hand, is led across a salt plain in the Danakil Depression on January 22, 2017, near Dallol, Ethiopia. Carl Court / Getty

A long exposure image shot beside the crater of Erta Ale, an active volcano in Danakil.

A long exposure image shot beside the crater of Erta Ale, an active volcano in Danakil. Mike Korostelev / Getty

A colorful feature of one of Danakil's hot springs

A colorful feature of one of Danakil's hot springs Wuthrich Didier / Shutterstock

Salt Mountains of Dallol volcano in Ethiopia

Salt Mountains of Dallol volcano in Ethiopia Fredy Thuerig / Shutterstock

A salt miner works in the heat as he digs out salt blocks by hand in the Danakil Depression on January 22, 2017

A salt miner works in the heat as he digs out salt blocks by hand in the Danakil Depression on January 22, 2017 Carl Court / Getty

Reddish waters of Lake Karum, or "Assale," fill a seasonally dry shallow area after flooding, due to a recent storm in the surrounding highlands, in the Danakil Desert

Reddish waters of Lake Karum, or "Assale," fill a seasonally dry shallow area after flooding, due to a recent storm in the surrounding highlands, in the Danakil Desert Rweisswald / Shutterstock

The landscape of one of several hot springs in the Danakil Depression, photographed on February 26, 2016

The landscape of one of several hot springs in the Danakil Depression, photographed on February 26, 2016 Eric Lafforgue / Art in All of Us / Corbis via Getty

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https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/04/travel-monday-a-photo-trip-to-ethiopias-danakil-depression/558128/

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