Gazing Into Danakil Depression’s Mirror, and Seeing Mars Stare Back

DANAKIL DEPRESSION, Ethiopia — In oppressively dry heat and a miasma of sulfur and chlorine, the rocky landscape sprouts patches of neon green and yellow that resemble oozing scrambled eggs. Near-boiling pools of acidic water bubble between odd formations of rocks and minerals: white beehive-shaped mounds of salt, yolk-colored lattices of sulfuric crust, purplish-red crumbles.