Danakil Depression, mystery places on Danakil Ethiopia

 Danakil Depression, mystery places on Danakil Ethiopia

The Danakil DepressionCredit: iStock

The Danakil Depression

Known as the most alien places on earth and a gateway to hell and even a land of death, Danakil Depression is one of the most popular attractions in Ethiopia. The hot springs, acid pools, salt mountains and steaming fissures make it appear like another planet, and that explains why the scientists use this place for carrying out research about other planets in the solar system.

Sought for white goldCredit: iStock

Sought for white gold

It is one of the hottest places on earth and the lowest (over 400 ft below sea level), the Danakil Depression is also sought by the salt miners to extract what they call as the “white gold” (salt slabs) from the flat pans near Lake Afar. In fact, salt was also used as a currency in Ethiopia about a couple of centuries ago.

How did Danakil Depression form?Credit: iStock

How did Danakil Depression form?

Danakil forms a part of the Afar Triangle, a geological depression in the faraway north-eastern part of Ethiopia, where three tectonic plates are slowing diverging. The area used to be a part of the Red Sea. With the passage of time, the volcanic eruptions released lava to finally seal off an inland sea which evaporated in the arid climate.

About the climateCredit: iStock

About the climate

Here, the temperature is blistering hot and rainfall is scanty. The presence of yellow, orange, green, red, blue and green colours is due to the sea and rain water from the neighbouring coasts that get absorbed through into the sulfuric lakes and heat up due to the magma. When the salt from the sea reacts with the minerals in the magma, it gives birth to these beautiful colours. As the heat evaporates the water, colorful crust-like deposits develop across the land, which mix mystically with the cooler turquoise lakes in the depression.

What to do if you are planning to visit Danakil Depression?Credit: iStock

What to do if you are planning to visit Danakil Depression?

Danakil is very hot and acidic, and that’s why dipping a finger in the bubbling pool is not good. Wear proper footwear and walk carefully on geothermal areas. Be equipped about the right route and where to step or have a local guide to take you around. The best time to visit is between November and March when the temperature is still more bearable. The day trips generally start from Wikro town around 4:00 AM. Helicopter rides are also available.


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