Gaet’ale Pond in Ethiopia is the saltiest lake in the world. It has a salinity of 433 grams per kg. The salt in this lake is formed from mostly calcium chloride and magnesium chloride. Interestingly, there’s no water coming in our out of this lake.
The story of Gaet’ale Pond in Ethiopia
This pond is part of a larger lake area of almost 5 km. It is situated in the dry arid lands of Ethiopia which means there’s no vegetation around the lake. But even without the hot weather, vegetation could not grow in such high salinity.
This lake is believed to be formed on a hot spring. It dried up just a few years ago. But following an earthquake in 2005, the spring’s water made its way to the surface again. It is believed this hot spring water is coming from an old volcano.
A study was done by analyzing Google satellite images to show if the lake was the same size before it disappeared initially. It shows the lake had the same size in 2003 as after the 2005 earthquake. This means water levels here are mostly constant.
Since it sits on a volcano, it also emits CO2 gas at the surface. This gas is nauseating. Maybe this is the reason the gas kills so many animals in the lake. But at the same time, the gas can also be harmful to humans.
If you’re thinking of visiting this lake you need to head over to Ahmed’ela. The village has a few guides who can take you to the lake. But you shouldn’t expect to bathe here even if the water looks welcoming. Its temperature is simply too high for swimming.
Accidents happen here frequently as Ethiopia did not close off the area and there are no warning signs to its potentially dangerous hot water here. With a salinity of over 40%, the lake is the saltiest in the world. But it is also hotter than the outside weather regardless of how hot the climate is in Ethiopia.