- by walterhellmut
- Danakil, Ethiopia
- N 14° 14.296 E 040° 17.946
The Dallol area of the Danakil desert in Northeast Ethiopia presents a massive natural spectacle at the hottest place on Earth. To reach this destination, geocachers must trek up a long and dusty road of dry, cracked Earth. At the end of the hike, prepare to be blown away by brightly colored pools of bubbling acid, bizarre limestone formations, and plenty of sulfuric geysers that cover the landscape.
Adventurous cachers must be led by a local guide to ensure their safety as they explore this remarkable environment and put their EarthCache skills to the test. Danakil’s extreme environment may not be home to many things, but it certainly is home to our rockin’ Geocache of the Week, GC2WB4N- H2SO4 – አሲድነት ሐይቅ – ACIDIC LAKE!.
In the Danakil Desert, just below the surface of the earth, magma flows and bubbles, heating up the groundwater. This warm water dissolves salt, potash, and other minerals and deposits them in craters, making Dallol a natural neon wonderland. To log the EarthCache, cachers must awaken their inner geologist and summon their chemistry skills to answer questions about this alien area.
Danakil has one of only six lava lakes in the world. The Dallol Volcano was created in the 1920s when a large amount of water came into contact with hot magma below the ground. The magma had an estimated temperature of far above 900 °C (1600 °F). The water instantly evaporated, building up an enormous amount of pressure. This led to a colossal eruption and formed the active volcano and sulfuric lake that exists today.
There are nine questions to this EarthCache, that geocachers are challenged to answer. To log this, expect to measure a formation that cache owner walterhellmut says looks like, “a sunken prehistoric giant tortoise,” and reference the periodic table to identify a yellowish element that washes up on the lakeshore. This EarthCache even dares you to cautiously dip a finger in and taste that sulfur water—don’t worry, it’s safe!
Just the thought of an acid lake brings forth feelings of excitement and curiosity. Anyone who visits Danakil will leave with wonderful stories to share, but only geocachers will leave with a find and some new knowledge from this EarthCache and our Geocache of the Week.
Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.