Ethiopia’s Erta Ale Volcano, the ‘Gateway To Hell’

Ethiopia Erta Ale Volcano
Ethiopia, Erta Ale Volcano: A glimpse inside the ‘Gateway To Hell’ – the world’s oldest continuously active lava lake.


In the volcano Erta Ale, Ethiopia, some shy eruptions warns you about the presence of a lava lake, a rare natural phenomenon on our planet. Gradually, the activity ceases and the murmur becomes a black and opaque silence, mimicking its hardened surface. Time runs slowly, but it’s disturbed by the hiss of the contained pressure; the volcano’s anxiety increases and, in its core, an eruption shatters the crust and, like a divine act, triggers a chain reaction, breaking up the lake’s surface in tens of lava bursts rising in the air, increasing the surrounding temperature up to an intolerable level, capable of drying and cracking our skin. Shortly after, the lava’s drumming begins to slow down; the vibrant yellows and oranges become a dry and viscous hue of these colours, falling slowly into a solid, quiet and calm state. The scars heal and close, ending a cycle that, when this demigod volcano desires, will be repeated until the mother of all eruptions create a new lava lake, somewhere in the hottest place on Earth. (C) Joel Santos –

A photo posted by Joel Santos (@joelsantosphoto) on

Video footage:

Joel Santos Passionate travel,landscape & portrait photographer.Leads workshops & photo tours all over the world.Book author & chronicle writer.Canon Ambassador.


Share This:

Leave a Reply