On the planet earth, there are only few places where temperatures pass 50 °C. Ethiopian Danakil Desert is one of them, which is famous for its volcanoes and extreme heat. The 136,956 square kilometer’s desert is located on the Southern Eritrea, and northwestern Djibouti. The hottest place on earth has only an inch rainfall round the year. But the great thing of Danakil Desert is having many lakes formed by lava flows that dammed up numerous valleys.
One of Lake Afrera/Giuletti 260ft below sea level has thick saline crusts on its banks. Another Lake Asale also possess cryptodepression in the Danakil Depression. The Danakil Depression overlaps the borders of Eritrea, Djibouti and the entire Afar Region of Ethiopia. It is the hottest places on the planet earth sometimes called "the gateway to Hell”.
Due to extreme climate, this region's look like an alien land. In fact, the region has strange geological phenomena that one can see in his entire life. The volcanoes with bubbling lava lakes, multi-coloured hydrothermal fields, and great salt pans that dazzle the eyes.
The desert is inhabited by few peoples that is called Afar. Every morning, hundreds of men converge on a dry lakebed in a remote corner of Ethiopia, where they cleave the ground open with hand axes to extract salt, like their fathers and grandfathers once did. They are engaged with salt mining, used camels to load thirty salt bricks weighing 4 kg each. However, their bodies are well adapted to the extreme heat and dryness, hence they need far less food and water than most other people.
The guards guarding the camels from bandits until they reach the destinations. Hence, against all odds, Afar people do live here and call it their home. The desert has various climate cycles, tectonic activity and discontinuous erosion. One of geological feature is the movement of Africa tectonic plates moved away from Asia.
The Danakil Desert unique rivers never reaches the sea, flowing from highlands down into lakes and then intense heat evaporates water leaving behind the great salt pans. But still dry and barren place brings life, both in the water itself and the valuable salt that it carries. Many mountain chains formed, layers of sandstones and limestones deposited further offshore.
As the land rose the more sandstones formed above the limestones and tectonic shifts caused lave poured out of cracks and cover the sedimentary deposits. One of Danakil Desert area is bordered with Alps, a tabular mountain system. The highest peak is Mount Ramlo almost 7,000 ft. The Afrera contains several active volcanoes, including the most famous Erta Ale.
Why is Danakil Desert Dangerous?
The desert is extremely breathless oxygen in certain territories, as air is burnt and filled poisonous gases. Many people hesitate to go some places due to risking their lives. Keep in mind all these factors, Danakil Desert is one of the most inhospitable environments in the world.This moon-like landscape is a harsh place to live. Numerous fossils of ancient hominins have been unearthed here, instigation some paleontologists to suggest that this area is where our species first evolved. So, it is often referred to as the "cradle of humanity".