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The Hottest Place On Earth – Dallol, Ethiopia Ghost Town of the Month

dallol4Dallol is a ghost town in the Northern part of Ethiopia and is listed as one of the 10 hottest places on Earth.   It was a settlement  in the Afar region with an elevation of 130 meters (430 ft) below sea level.   The average annual temperature of 94 degrees F was recorded in 1960-1966.

dallolDallol is also one of the most remote places on Earth that no longer has roads or a rail system to the town.  Camel caravans are the only regular transport service which travel to the area to collect salt.  If you should choose to go by jeep make sure you have a spare jeep to pull you out if you get stuck in the sand.   Not only is it the hottest place on Earth it has also been named the cruelest place on Earth.  It is located at a tectonic triple juncture with three plates converging as well as a major volcanic hub.

Potash production is said to have reached 50,000 metric tons after the railway was constructed.   After WWI production stopped due to large scale supplies from Germany, USA, and USSR. The mine attempted to reopen between 1920 and 1941 and after a couple unsuccessful attempts the British administration dismantled the railway and removed all traces of it.  In 1951 a few tons of salt from this site were sold to India.  Some buildings still stand in Dallol, all built with salt blocks.   

The term Dallol was coined by the Afar people and means dissolution or disintegration describing a landscape made up of green acid ponds (pH values less than 1) iron oxide, sulfer and salt desert plains.  The area  resembles the hot springs areas of Yellowstone National Park. 

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