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Exploring the Surreal Abandoned Town of Dallol: A Journey into Otherworldly Landscapes

Deep in the Danakil Depression, in the northern part of Ethiopia, lies the otherworldly abandoned town of Dallol.​ Situated at an altitude of 48 meters below sea level٫ this ghost town is known for its extreme geological conditions and colorful landscapes that make it one of the most unique and surreal places on Earth.​

Dallol was once a bustling mining settlement in the early 20th century, known for its potash reserves and mining operations.​ However, due to the harsh living conditions, extreme temperatures, and lack of water, the town was eventually abandoned, leaving behind a hauntingly beautiful landscape frozen in time.

The Alien-Like Landscapes

Visiting Dallol feels like stepping foot on another planet. The landscape is dominated by an array of mineral-rich geothermal hot springs, acid pools, and colorful salt formations.​ The combination of these elements creates a breathtaking sight that is both captivating and otherworldly.​

The vibrant hues of the hot springs range from bright yellow and green to deep red and blue, depending on the minerals present in the water.​ As the hot springs interact with the surrounding salt deposits, they create unique formations that resemble melting ice cream cones and surreal sculptures.

Extreme Climate and Harsh Conditions

Dallol is one of the hottest inhabited places on Earth, with average annual temperatures reaching as high as 34°C (93°F).​ In the summer٫ temperatures can soar well above 50°C (122°F)٫ making it unbearable for human habitation.​ The lack of shade٫ combined with the intense heat٫ creates a hostile environment that is not suitable for prolonged stays.​

In addition to the extreme temperatures, Dallol experiences minimal rainfall throughout the year, which further intensifies the aridity and desertification of the area. The vast salt flats and rock formations scattered across the landscape add to the desolate and eerie atmosphere, giving visitors a feeling of solitude and isolation.​

Preservation and Tourism

Despite being abandoned, Dallol has gained recognition as a unique tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.​ However, access to the area is restricted, and visitors must obtain permits from local authorities to explore the surroundings.​

Preservation efforts have been put in place to maintain the unique geological formations and prevent vandalism or damage to the fragile ecosystem.​ Tourists are encouraged to follow designated paths and avoid disturbing any flora or fauna present in the area.


The abandoned town of Dallol stands as a testament to the strength and resilience of nature.​ Its surreal landscapes and extreme conditions make it an intriguing destination for adventurous travelers seeking to witness its awe-inspiring beauty firsthand.​ As long as proper measures are taken to protect and preserve this unique environment, Dallol will continue to captivate and intrigue visitors from around the world.​