The Danakil Depression Is The Closest Thing To Hell On Earth

For those who think hell is “real,” congratulations: Beelzebub’s lair does exist and can be found in Ethiopia — at least according to National Geographic.

Dubbed the “cruelest place on Earth” by the publication, the Danakil Depression sits deep below sea level (more than 100 meters below at some of its lowest points) in northern Ethiopia’s Afar region. Not only is the depression one of the hottest places on the planet, it’s also one of the most geologically active: the depression is essentially a molten, acidic, and bubbling expanse of land unlike anything else you’ve ever seen.

Danakil Depression Cruel

Source: Rough Guides

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXLI

Google Street View Baobab

A baobab tree stands near a trail just outside the small fishing village of Andavadoaka, Madagascar. Image Source: The Atlantic

Incredible Photos Taken With Google Street View

Desert Camel Shadow Google

A Google Maps Street View camera strapped to a camel in the dunes of the Liwa Oasis in the United Arab Emirates. Image Source: The Atlantic

Sure, Google Street View is great for the proverbial well-trodden path. But did you know they’ve taken those little camera cars–or camels, or snow rovers, as the case may be–to the ends of the earth, far from pavement and people? From the deserts of Mongolia to the hills of Colombia to the lakes of Greenland, Google’s cameras have captured it all. But perhaps the most striking thing is how beautifully they’ve done so. You don’t exactly expect National Geographic quality photography from a little camera attached to a car. Tour the globe at The Atlantic.

Google Street View Snow

A Google Maps Street View camera on a snow machine atop Crystal Mountain North in Washington State’s Cascade Range. Image Source: The Atlantic

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Photo Of The Day: Marines Set To Prevent Turtle Eggs’ Poaching

Marines protect turtle eggs from poachers

Image Source: reddit

Poaching has become an increasing threat for olive ridley sea turtles in Mexico. These endangered creatures are often exploited for food, bait, oil, leather, and fertilizer. During the nesting season, hunters are known to comb through beaches at night, looking for nesting female turtles. Although egg collection is illegal in Mexico, and the sale of turtle meat and eggs has been banned for more than two decades, turtle poaching continues to rise in the nation.

In order to combat poaching and any other threats posed by humans, governments and conservationists have developed and tested various methods, including education, ecotourism based on sea turtles, and patrolling nesting beaches. Oaxaca, Mexico plans on taking extra measures to patrolling nesting beaches, Escobilla and Morro Ayuta, by deploying drones that will curb poaching, accompanied by marines on land.

Environmental activists estimate that about 80% of Morro Ayuta beach’s turtle eggs are poached a night. But Guillermo Haro, prosecutor at Mexico’s environmental body, Profepa, hopes to see a significant decline in poaching: “With two drones that are the property of Profepa to surveil (beaches) Escobilla and Morro Ayuta and the result we hope for is to eradicate forever the illegal extraction of turtle eggs in these two beaches.”

Photo Of The Day: Volcano Lights Up The Night Sky

CHILE VOLCANO

Image Source: Time

The rich, rust-colored hues of this photo obscure the subject’s potentially fatal reality. The Villarrica volcano featured in the photograph above shoots 9,000 feet up from the soil of southern Chile, and is one of the South American country’s most active volcanoes. In March, Villarrica erupted, causing thousands of people to evacuate the nearby town of Pucon. This incredible image was captured in May, and presents us with a view of the volcano as seen from the city.

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