Danakil Depression - Northern Ethiopia

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Located in the northeastern corner of Ethiopia near the border with Eritrea, the Danakil Depression has been called “the gateway to Hell” because it is one of the hottest and harshest places on Earth, with recorded temperatures of 52 C. Rain almost never falls here.

This vast desert basin lies 150 feet below sea level and the landscape looks almost otherworldly, characterized by two active volcanoes, the bubbling Erta Ale living lava lake (one of only four in the world), geysers, acid ponds and impressive expanses of yellow mounds of sulfur, salt and mineral deposits.