Toxic Hot Spring, Danakil’s Acid-Like Danger Zone
An acid-fuel-like toxic hot spring between Ethiopia and Eritrea has been unveiled during a three-day journey in April.
"After mineral and geochemical characterization, we will know what kind of materials and bacteria are present and be able to identify the most interesting sites for astrobiology purposes. We are now starting the analysis of our samples and are planning a follow-up trip in a few months time," said Gómez, according to Popular Science.
The expedition headed by Felipe Gómez Gómez, an astrobiologist from Centro de Astrobiologia, Madrid from April 5th to 7th set out to discover life in places near hydrothermal springs. They measure pH, temperature, humidity and oxygen to help identify if life on other planets could possibly exist in spite of the environment which is beyond human tolerance.
Danakil Depression lies along Dallol Volcano to Lake Assal in Ethiopia. With its 107 degree-Fahrenheit temperature, burning smell of sulfur and chlorine, they found Danakil Depression in Ethiopia as the perfect location for their study.
Underground magma heats up the mixture of salt water and rain forming heat-filled bubbles rising up to the surface which makes the spring appear as though it is boiling, which technically is true as the spring warmth is near boiling point.
An alien place for many, this hydrothermal system appeared to be very peculiar that it did not immediately became a subject for scientific studies. Things have changed however after the expedition as this toxic hot spring has now become of great interest to astrobiologists, as per Gizmodo.
As Tadias reported, the trip was just the first part of the series of expedition and studies astrobiologists plan to conduct over the place.
Danakil Depression's toxic hot spring may appear to be one of the weirdest and most inhospitable places on earth, but the rich information and wider amount of discovery it can reveal may pave the way for bigger science explorations.
Take a trip over the toxic hot spring through this video.