Gaet’ale Pond: the Earth’s saltiest natural body of water that belches toxic gas.

The Afar Depression in northern Ethiopia is one of the most tectonically active regions in the world. Shaped by volcanic activity, the floor of the depression is largely composed of lava, and the area is riddled with charming natural formations that literally bake in the scorching sun. One of these is Gaet’ale Pond, the largest of a series of small bodies of water, located near the Dallol crater in Danakil Depression, one of the hottest inhabited locations on Earth. But, despite its balmy temperature, it is certainly not the place…

Read More

Gobodura Hill and the Lioness of Gobedra

We are a couple of kilometers west of the ancient city of Axum, Ethiopia, where stands the isolated hill of Gobodura, also known as Gobedra. The organizational and technological skills of the Aksumites were represented by the construction of elaborately carved stelae, monuments created in line of older African traditions and made of single pieces of local granite. They were cut out and transported from quarries located at least 4 km away (Gobedra Hill) to the location where they needed to be erected. The city is known also for an…

Read More

Bigger and More Beautiful? The curious labial deformations of the Mursi tribe.

The Mursi people is one of the last groups in Africa among which it is still customary, among women only, to wear labial plates that can greatly enlarge the diameter of the lower and upper lip. The shape of the deformed lip has become the main distinguishing feature of the Mursi, making it one of the most interesting anthropological singularities of Ethiopia. To obtain this aesthetic change, a girl’s lower lip is cut by her mother or another woman in the village when she is about 15 or 16 years…

Read More