Excursion to Dallol between active geysers and surreal acid lakes

December 31, 2010

Dallol is an ancient collapsed volcano that shows all its beauty emerging from the Salt Plains in the heart of Danakil depression. The hundreds of small geysers constantly active, release minerals which, once deposited, create a landscape made of surreal psychedelic colors and shapes. A real hell on earth for the presence of acid or toxic lakes, for the heat, and for the vapors of sulfur that makes often difficult to breath. An absolutely unbearable hell, but at the same time, so fascinating like the last paradise on Earth.

Danakil - Ethiopia
A tour to Dallol in the heart of the Danakil depression, lets to discover a unique geological wonder in the world: a collapsed volcano lying 80 meters below sea level, which, due to its elevation, should be really hidden under some sea. Instead, as the Danakil desert is inside one of the deepest depressions of the world, the volcano emerges from the ground in all its glory, offering a show looking like more "Alice in Wonderland" rather than a real place.

 

Dallol Dallol picture
Dallol image Dallol pictures - Dallol travel.This is the show that opens to the visitor, looking out on the edge of the crater during a trip to Dallol. What is impressive is not just the incredible colors and surreal shapes, but also how Dallol is different from the surrounding sand and dust, typical of the Danakil depression in northeastern Ethiopia.

 

Danakil depression (Dallol)
A journey to Dallol in the Danakil depression is an extraordinary experience, as Dallol is a place of extremes for excellence: - With its average annual temperature of 34.6 degrees centigrade, Dallol is the warmest place in the world - Dallol is the only volcano in the world on land, having a crater below the sea level - Dallol it 's one of the areas in the world with the highest concentration of permanently active geysers - The colorful waters of the lakes are in many cases, acidic or toxic

 

Acid lakes Acid lake
Dallol ( Ethiopia ) Green lake
Hell or heaven? These amazing colors should not lead to mislead: Some of these lakes are highly acidic, while others are poisonous and falling into these waters could prove a painful experience, as well as very dangerous.

 

Acid lakes Dallol
Mineral salt water
Pictures of Dallol: the Garden of Demons, an alien world made of acidic hot springs and geysers, mineral formations and multicolored pools of acid bounded salt by frames.

 

Mini geyser Mineral formations
The mineral formations are just as surreal as unbelievable. Since these pictures were taken 80 feet below sea level, you would naturally associate them with corals, sponges or fragments of ancient amphoras coming from a wreck. But none of this: these amazing formations are "just" the result of a slow and patient work of nature, due to geysers and fumaroles depositing sulfur and other minerals.

 

Brain rock
A mineral concretion with a diameter of about six inches, which looks like a brain..

 

Hot spring
More Dallol photos. The liquid in this pool, perhaps water and sulfuric acid, is boiling not only for the temperature, but also for gases released from the underground.

 

Sulfur and irox oxide Sulphur
Photos of Dallol: deposits of sulfur (yellow) iron oxide (orange) and other minerals.

 

Mini crater Sulphur and iron oxide
A curious mini geyser depositing sulfur, looks like a lava flow in miniature.

 

Bizarre mineral formations emerging between the crystals of sulfur and acids.

 

Sulphur Crystals
This accretion of sulfur resembles instead an Acacia in bloom.

 

This carpet of small mineral concretions vaguely remember a tropical beach covered with shells.

 

Sali minerali
Geyser
Mini geyser

 

Dallol
Dallol photo. A panoramic picture that provides the idea of the size of the crater.

 

Sulphur structure Dallol - Danakil - Ethiopia
Photos sulfur aggregations, made also of iron oxide and other minerals, created by the incessant labor of small permanently active fumaroles.

 

Danakil

 

Mineral formation Mineral crystals
Crystals
More pictures of curious mineral concretions from the psychedelic colors.

 

Geyser
Photos of a beautiful miniature geyser.

 

In Dallol, the number of small geysers and eruptive vents is virtually infinite: the constant gurgle of the water, or better ... of the liquid looking like water, along with the geysers in continuous activity, give you the sensation of being inside the belly of the devil !

 

Erupting geyser
Picture of a miniature geyser that erupts a greenish liquid.

 

Eruption of a geyser
Other geysers emitting into the air droplets of something. These liquids, once falling on ground, release the minerals that they contain, helping the structures to grow and to get different colors.

 

Danakil - Ethiopia
Another picture of Dallol. Concretions of iron oxide mixed with sulfur.

 

These images appear to be taken by a spacecraft photographing the surface of an alien planet.

 

Green lakes
Dallol is a world in danger: there are no trails, so visitors are forced to walk directly over these magnificent mineral concretions, destroying a work of nature that has lasted for decades. Unfortunately, some steps are mandatory, but I have seen several tourists walking also where not necessary, maybe just to take one more picture.I recommend to all those who decide to come to Dallol, to respect this beautiful and unique place. I also hope that the Ethiopian government and various international organizations like the UNESCO will do something to preserve this hellish paradise, for example creating mandatory paths and educating the tourist guides to protect this delicate jewel.

 

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