Incredible pics show vast desert basin at heart of Ethiopia's salt … – The Sun

WELCOME TO THE MOST UNFORGIVING PLACE ON EARTH

The Danakil Depression is one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on the planet

THESE incredible images show the vast desert basin at the heart of Ethiopia’s ancient salt trade where miners toil in scorching temperatures of up to 50C.

The Danakil Depression, in the country’s Afar Region, is one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on the planet.

Combined, this means the stunning landscape – that lies at 410ft (125m) below sea level and receives just 100mm of rainfall per year – is one of the most inhospitable places on earth.

The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on the planet

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The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on the planet

The stunning landscape lies at 410ft (125m) below sea level

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The stunning landscape lies at 410ft (125m) below sea level

Walking around the Danakil Depression, you could be forgiven you had landed on another planet

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Walking around the Danakil Depression, you could be forgiven you had landed on another planet

Despite the harsh conditions, workers toil in 50C heat

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Despite the harsh conditions, workers toil in 50C heat

Despite this, Ethiopians continue to make the long trek to collect salt from the sun-blasted earth before transporting the slabs back by camel.

It is a tradition that has continued for centuries – but this way of life could be threatened by the construction of a road to make the process more efficient.


Walking around the Danakil Depression, you could be forgiven you had landed on another planet.

There are volcanoes with bubbling lava lakes, multi-coloured hydrothermal fields, and great salt pans that would dazzle any onlooker.

A sulphur lake is seen in the Danakil Depression

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A sulphur lake is seen in the Danakil Depression

Ethiopians continue to make the long trek to collect salt from the sun-blasted earth before transporting the slabs back by camel

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Ethiopians continue to make the long trek to collect salt from the sun-blasted earth before transporting the slabs back by camel

Sometimes it gets so hot that the camels struggle to cope

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Sometimes it gets so hot that the camels struggle to cope

Ethiopians have workers at the mines for centuries

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Ethiopians have workers at the mines for centuries

A tourist is seen taking a photograph of a sulphur lake

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A tourist is seen taking a photograph of a sulphur lake

The inhospitable landscape is at the heart of Ethiopia's ancient salt trade

Getty Images

The inhospitable landscape is at the heart of Ethiopia’s ancient salt trade

Lines of camels can also be seen crossing the desert in an impressive spectacle that almost looks like a mirage.

The geological depression is caused by the Afar Triple Junction – a place where three tectonic plates join.

It overlaps the borders of Eritrea, Djibouti and the entire Afar Region of Ethiopia.

The Danakil Depression is also part of the great East African Rift Valley.

Lines of camels can also be seen crossing the desert in an impressive spectacle that almost looks like a mirage

Getty Images

Lines of camels can also be seen crossing the desert in an impressive spectacle that almost looks like a mirage

A salt-covered branch lies on a salt plain in the Danakil Depression

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A salt-covered branch lies on a salt plain in the Danakil Depression

Tourists dip their toes in one of the vast lakes

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Tourists dip their toes in one of the vast lakes

The geological depression is caused by the Afar Triple Junction - a place where three tectonic plates join

Getty Images

The geological depression is caused by the Afar Triple Junction – a place where three tectonic plates join

There are volcanoes with bubbling lava lakes and multi-coloured hydrothermal fields

Getty Images

There are volcanoes with bubbling lava lakes and multi-coloured hydrothermal fields

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