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Dallol Volcano, Ethiopia

Africa might not be the first place you think of for volcanoes, but Dallol was once a very active volcano. By pushing magma up through the Earth’s crust, the volcano created Dallol mountain which rises about 60 meters above the salt plains that surround it. At 157 feet (48 meters) below sea level, Dallol is also the Earth’s lowest land volcano. And this region of southwest Ethiopia is hot. In fact, this remote area is subject to the highest average temperatures on Earth.

Sulfur, salt, and other minerals create the white, yellow and red colored landscape and strange formations that cover the mountain and its base. The last time Dallol showed activity was in 1926 when an eruption formed a 30 meter-wide crater. Currently, the volcanic activity at Dallol is the continuing formation of hot springs. Salts wash out of the underlying layers and rise to the surface by geothermally heated water. They rapidly crystallize as the water evaporates and form the colorful, alien-like landscape that makes Dallol so fascinating and strangely beautiful. 

sources 1, 2

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