The Danakil Depression: Life at the Extremes 極端氣候下的奇幻地景 達納基勒窪地




In a place this hot with such little water, life still finds a way to survive.



   Within the Afar Triangle of northeastern Ethiopia, there is a small area that is one of the hottest and driest places on Earth. Sitting at around 125 meters below sea level, it is called the Danakil Depression. It is home to broken landscapes, volcanic activity, and extreme weather, making it among the harshest and most strangely beautiful places on the planet.



   The Danakil Depression was formed as a result of the Asia and Africa plates moving apart, so there is a lot of volcanic activity. There are open pools of lava, hot springs, and chemical lakes that bubble and boil. One of the main attractions is the Dallol sulfur springs, which are painted in rich yellows, oranges, and greens, from the high mineral content of their waters.



   In spite of the harshness of the landscape, life still survives here. Fossils like the famous Lucy show that our ancestors have been living here for millions of years. Even in the Dallol sulfer springs, a place that should be completely dead, there are small, living microorganisms. Scientists are using them to learn more about how life might develop on other planets. Even in the most extreme landscape imaginable, life finds a way.


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