Lake Abbe - Isolated land in Africa

Lake Abbe has a desolate landscape, fancy limestone blocks. With the geothermal activity going on, scientists predict this place will spawn a new ocean.

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Lake Abbe stretches on the Ethiopian - Djibouti border and is surrounded by an arid desert. This place is one of the most special and inaccessible waters in the world. Measuring 19 kilometers wide, 17 kilometers long, and packed with toxic salts, this vast alkaline lake looks like a desert oasis. However, its unusual geology resembles the landscape on the Moon more.

Hundreds of giant limestone mountains scattered across the horizon, many reaching a height of about 50 m. These spiers often release sulfur clouds into the air, creating a surreal landscape amid one of Africa's harshest regions.

Lake Abbe is located at the intersection of the Somali, Arab, and Nubian tectonic plates, called the Afar Triangle. The unique landscape here is the result of the gradual separation of the tectonic plates, causing the Earth's crust below the lake to continuously thin. Fissures gradually formed in the lake bed and allowed magma to escape. Over thousands of years, travertine limestone sediments have created huge mountains in the desert. In the 1950s, when the lake's water level decreased by 2/3, these limestone blocks were seen.

Today, the tectonic plates below the Afar Triangle are still separating at a rate of about 2 cm per year. Geophysicists believe that in about 10 million years, this large Afar and alkaline lake will be the birthplace of a new ocean. According to scientists at NASA's Earth Observatory, the Red Sea, the Great Rift Valley of East Africa and the Gulf of Aden will turn into an ocean, while the Horn of Africa will be an island.

Although the Afar Triangle is one of the most isolated and inhospitable environments on the continent, it is still inhabited. Drive 150 km from the capital of Djibouti to Lake Abbe, isolated settlements scattered in the arid desert. Many Afar people living in the area are semi-nomadic. They migrated around the salt shores of the Afar region. Most of the small, makeshift villages in Afar have no drinking water or electricity.

Coming to the super alkaline waters of Lake Abbe and admire with your own eyes the migratory flamingos is an adventure that attracts many visitors to explore. While the visitors from afar thought that the landscape of Lake Abbe was like a different world, for the Afar, it was home.

With temperatures fluctuating around 30 degrees C in winter and 45 degrees C in summer, Lake Abbe is one of the hottest places on Earth. Many Afar shepherds, farmers, and merchants work under the blazing sun and harsh conditions year round.

In recent years, the effects of climate change have increased temperatures in the area and also exacerbated droughts.

When the sun sets, Lake Abbe turns into a wonderland with shady limestone mountains.

By nightfall and the stars sparkle in the sky, life at Lake Abbe slows down. Without roads, electricity, or basic infrastructure, Lake Abbe's outback creates a sense of isolation that few places on Earth have.

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