danakil

flickr

Rashaida Tribe Woman Near Massawa, Eritrea by Eric Lafforgue Photography
Via Flickr:
The Rashaida tribe came to Eritrea from Saudi Arabia about 200 years ago, they live in the desert along the coastline of the Red Sea, are muslim, and their homeland extends from Massawa, Eritrea, to Port Sudan, Sudan; they are nomadic, the men are excellent camel traders and some even go to Emirates to take care of the rich people’s animals; Rashaida women always wear veils to cover their nose and their mouth, but not the hair, Rashaida live in isolated communities, preferring not to live with people of other tribes.


@ ethiopia-and-eritrea Agree with your note and made the needed changes from Eric Lafforgue comment. Thanks for pointing it out.

youtube

Nuttea & Balik (Danakil) - Gardien Du Temple

Finding life on Mars has captured the imagination of generations, but experts still aren’t sure what exactly we’re looking for. The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia, with a landscape of boiling pools of water and mounds of salt and sulfur that itself seems extraterrestrial, might offer some clues. Despite being one of the lowest, hottest and driest places on Earth, the region is host to extremophiles–– microbes that thrive in these inhospitable conditions.

Dr. Felipe Gómez Gómez of the Centro de Astrobiología in Madrid, who is working on isolating and studying these bacteria, believes learning to identify life in extreme environments here on Earth is the key to identifying any alien life that might be out there.

“What is life? What are the limits of life? Scientists don’t agree on what is life,” Dr. Gómez said. “If we find life on Mars, would we be able to recognize it? We don’t know.”

These organisms might also provide insight into how potential life-forms might survive in the sparse environment of Mars. From the article:

These simple organisms can survive with a “very small battery,” and were probably among the first bacteria on Earth, Dr. Gómez said. “That is what makes them so interesting from an astrobiological point of view.”

Organisms such as chemolithotrophs don’t require traditional means of sustenance like light and organic compounds and instead use inorganic compounds such as sulfide, hydrogen and ammonia as energy sources. Though they might be a far cry from little green men with antennae, they could offer us a more realistic idea of what to expect if and when we finally make “first contact”.

Read more at The New York Times here.