The Hottest Place on Earth
Just imagine the hottest place on Earth. It could be an area of desert land that is scorching hot during the day, or a city in the middle of nowhere with temperatures so high that it’s unbearable. But you have probably never heard of the actual hottest place on Earth – Dallol, Ethiopia.
What is Dallol?
Dallol is a Volcanic crater in the Danakil Desert of northeastern Ethiopia. In spite of being a dormant volcano, it contains several acid ponds, geysers and sulphur lakes, resulting from the hydrothermal activity taking place inside the crater. It is an otherworldly landscape that is considered the hottest place on Earth.
Why is it Considered the Hottest Place on Earth?
The surface temperature of Dallol rarely drops lower than 37.8 °C, making it the hottest place on Earth. This record has been kept since 1960, when it was measured with a thermoscope. Despite the sweltering temperatures, the area is still inhabited by the Afar people, who live off the land while selling what they can scavenge from the desert to supplement their income. The average annual temperature in Dallol is 34 °C and temperatures can reach up to a scorching 72 °C in June.
What Causes the Heat?
The main cause of Dallol’s sweltering temperatures is its extreme proximity to the Equator. The sun’s rays hit the desert land with a greater intensity here compared to anywhere else on the planet. The area is also below sea level, making it easier for the hot air to rise and for the sun’s rays to penetrate the soil.
What Wildlife Exists in Dallol?
Despite the intense heat, Dallol is also home to an array of desert wildlife. There is an abundance of small rodents and snakes, while birds such as the White-crowned Wheatear, Red-backed Shrike, and Tawny Pipit can also be found. The area also boasts a variety of small insects and spiders. Despite the environment, some life still manages to thrive in this extreme environment.
What Are the Risks associated with Visiting Dallol?
As one might expect, visiting Dallol can be a dangerous endeavor due to its extreme temperatures and acid pool conditions. The acid pools are also highly acidic and can reach temperatures of up to 120 °C, which can be very dangerous for anyone attempting to enter them. Additionally, the area is far from any sort of medical aid or assistance, so visitors should be well prepared for a journey to Dallol.
Is Dallol the Only Hot Place on Earth?
While Dallol is certainly the hottest place on Earth, it is not the only hot location. In fact, there are several places that rival Dallol’s temperature, although none have surpassed it. The city of Ahwaz, Iran has an average annual temperature of 33.4 °C and is just a few degrees below Dallol. Death Valley, California is another hot spot, boasting an average annual temperature of 34.1 °C. The Ghadames oasis in Libya also has scorching temperatures, with an average annual temperature of 33.6 °C and temperatures reaching up to 49 °C in some areas.
As one of the hottest places on earth, Dallol, Ethiopia certainly lives up to its reputation. It’s scorching temperatures make it an inhospitable and dangerous place to visit, yet it is still home to an array of desert wildlife. Despite being the hottest, it is not alone – there are plenty of other spots around the world where the temperatures are almost as high, even if Dallol’s record still stands firm.