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Afar Cattle Herders, Ethiopia, 2005

Photo: Cattle herders in desert

Zebu cattle driven by Afar herdsmen raise clouds of dust in the baked Danakil Desert near Semerea, Ethiopia. The Danakil is among the most forbidding places on Earth, a land of dry sands, active volcanoes, burning salt flats, temperatures that often top 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius), choking winds, and suffocating days of no wind at all.

(Text adapted from and photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Africa's Danakil Desert: Cruelest Place on Earth," October 2005, National Geographic magazine)

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Photograph by Carsten Peter

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