Published in journal, ‘Nature Ecology and Evolution’, research reveals that Dallol is completely lifeless. Read on to know why. By Shrimayee Thakur

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There are so many places in this world that are just weird and beautiful. I’m standing here on a hot spring in Dallol, Ethiopia. This hot spring, though, is too hot to bathe in it. In fact, the Dallol region of Ethiopia is a cauldron of burning salt, volcanic rock and sulfuric acid, and it is officially the hottest place on Earth. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Guess what’s the average annual temperature? It is 93.9°F (34.4°C), but in the summer it reaches highs of 116.1°F (46.7°C) and more. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Even though you can’t swim here (since the water is toxic), it’s still worth visiting these hot springs as they are one of the reasons why the Dallol landscape is so visually striking. These springs release chemical compounds like ferrous chloride and iron hydroxide that solidify when they come into contact with the atmosphere, painting the salt deposits and lakes in bizarre shades of green, yellow and white. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #natgeoyourshot #yourshotphotgrapher #yourshotphotography #natgeo #natgeotraveler #dallol #ethiopia #danakildepression #africa #hotsprings #welltravelled #beautifuldestinations

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Despite the presence of water, the ‘elixir of life’, Dallol geothermal field in Ethiopia does not harbour any life. A recent research showed that the hot, salty and acidic ponds of Dallol do not allow survival of even microorganisms in them. The researchers, including those from the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, said that Dallol’s ponds extend across a volcanic crater in the Ethiopian Danakil depression, full of salt, toxic gases and boiling water, a reaction to intense hydrothermal activity.

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In diesem grün-gelben See schwimmen gehen? 🏊 Davon kann man nur abraten. Handelt es sich bei dieser Wasserstelle doch um das Produkt heißer Quellen, die mit einer Temperatur von 70 Grad eine mehr als 1000 Meter dicke Salz- und Gipsschicht durchdrungen haben, um sich nun an der Erdoberfläche zu diesen farbenfrohen Tümpeln zu formieren. Schwefel und Kaliumsalze sorgen für die grüne, weiße und an anderen Stellen auch rötliche Färbung des Wassers. Und auch wenn die bunten Seen so friedlich und still daliegen, brodelt es tief unter der Oberfläche. Sie befinden sich nämlich nicht irgendwo an einem beliebigen Ort auf der Welt, sondern auf dem Vulkan Dallol. 🌋 Dieser ragt aus der äthiopischen Wüste Danakil 60 Meter über dem Boden eines Salzsees, wobei sich der See selbst 120 Meter unter dem Meeresspiegel befindet. Der Vulkan ist Teil der sogenannten Danakil-Depression. Bei einer Depression im geologischen Sinne handelt es sich um eine Senke auf dem Festland, die durch tektonische Aktivitäten entstanden ist. Die Erdkruste dehnt sich also, wird dünner und sinkt immer weiter ab. Dieser Prozess ist bereits seit 30 Millionen Jahren im Gange und eines Tages wird die Senke vollständig mit Wasser aus dem Roten Meer gefüllt sein. Seit 2005 ist die Erde derart in Bewegung, dass sich meterweite Spalten gebildet haben und auch die Vulkanaktivität zugenommen hat. Die heißen Quellen sorgen zudem für Rekordtemperaturen von bis zu 60 Grad! 😓 Und aufgepasst: Der Untergrund ist tückisch. Gefährliche Säurepools werden teilweise nur von einer dünnen Mineralkruste bedeckt, durch die man leicht einbrechen kann. Das dort lebende Nomadenvolk Afri hat den Vulkan Dallol nicht umsonst so genannt: Der Name bedeutet in etwa „Ort ohne Wiederkehr“. Seid Ihr gut in Erdkunde? 🌍 Oder liegen Euch eher andere Themenbereiche? © Getty Images/ Marc Guitard #TerraX #ZDF # #NatureLoversGallery #natureloves #naturelover💚 #NatureLove_World #NatureLovers_Photogroup #NatureLoverForLife #NatureLover🍃 #NatureLoversOfInstagram #Vulcan #Vulcans #Vulkan #Dallol #NatureLovers_United #NaturFotografie #LandscapeCaptures #LandschaftsFotografie #EarthLandscape #Nature_Perfection #Naturfotografie #Äthiopien

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According to the research, Dallol’s ponds are among the most scorchingly hot places on the planet, with temperatures hovering at around 45-degrees Celsius even in winter. The researchers said that Dallol’s landscape has both highly saline and highly acidic pools in abundance, with pH, which is measured on a scale of 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkaline), even going below 0, into negative figures.

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On a roll with sharing incredible landscapes this week, but this shot of @kesitoandfro soaking up this unearthly scenery in Dallol, Ethiopia is next level! 🇪🇹⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I’ve read a lot of claims about where the hottest place on earth is, but according to sources, Dallol in Ethiopia is the HOTTEST based on year-round averages. You can only visit as part of a tour to witness the volcanoes, geysers and hot springs (filled with sulphuric acid, you won’t want to jump in this time!). This place really looks like another planet, but you won’t be able to rock up and roam there that’s for sure.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ What’s the most mesmerising landscape you’ve ever seen? ⁣⁣ ⁣ #girlsthatwander⁣⁣ Words: @leeshbrock

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Previous studies had claimed the presence of certain micro-organisms that can grow in this extremely inhospitable environment, the new research, however, shows that it cannot support life at all. It was even presented as a terrestrial analogue of early Mars. Researchers said that they analysed many more samples than previous studies, ensuring that there was no contamination, and came to the conclusion that there is no microbial life in the salty, acidic lakes, or in the magnesium-rich brine lakes nearby.

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Dallol itself is a dizzying riot of colour created by rain and seawater from the nearby coast, heated by magma. The sea salt reacts with volcanic minerals in the magma, creating luminescent colours. In the hottest pools, sulphur and salt react to create bright yellow chimneys. In cooler pools, copper salts blend in vivid turquoise. . . . #africanwildlife #pictureperfect #wildlifephotography #ethiopia #africatravel#love #naturereserve #danakil #wildernessphotography #путешествия #natgeowild #WildlifePlanet #travelafrica #naturegram #wildlife_captures #africa#nature #desert #travelethiopia #salt #dalol#naturelovers #wildafrica #camel#traveldiaries⁣  #travelgirl #landscapephotography #мандрівниця #подорож #dallol

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The researchers found a huge variety of a type of primitive salt-loving micro-organisms in the Ethiopian desert, as well as the saline canyons around the Dallol geothermal field, but none in the extremely saline and acidic pools or in the Black and Yellow lakes of Dallol, which contain large amounts of magnesium. This is especially strange, according to them, when taking in the fact that there is an intense distribution of microbes in the area, due to the wind and the presence of human visitors.

Related: Explore The Ethiopian Danakil Desert: Where Temperatures Are Extreme & Survival Is Tough