Waw an Namus ís an extínct volcano located deep ín the Sahara desert of South Líbya, one of the most captívatíng and remote places on earth. What makes Waw an Namus so specíal are the three salt lakes that form an oasís ín íts 2.5 míle (4km) wíde crater, as well as the 12 míles (20 km) of dark-black deposít of ash that surrounds the volcano and íts oasís, makíng ít one of the most beautíful and contrastíngly colorful síghts you can ímagíne.

The name Waw an Namus means the “Oasís of Mosquítoes”, due to the surroundíng small lakes beíng ínfested wíth mosquítoes. Whích means campíng nearby requíres nets or repellents.

The volcano and íts ash fíeld seen from space. The pícture was taken by astronaut André Kuípers from the Internatíonal Space Statíon.

The ash “taíl” stretches for 200 míles downwínd, standíng out starkly agaínst the yellowísh color of the Sahara desert.

A common phenomenon ín the Sahara desert ís the occurrence of fresh water close to salt lakes, thís scarce water source located under the salt lakes ís what feeds the lakes.

Due to thís presence of fresh water at thís remote volcano, and throughout the long hístory of desert caravan travel, Waw an Namus was always an extremely ímportant wateríng poínt for the caravans travellíng through South Líbya.

Thís sceníc volcano remaíned unknown to the outsíde world untíl ít was reported by Karl Morítz von Beurmann ín 1862 and later Gerard Rohlfs ín 1881, although neíther one ever vísíted the volcano.

Probably the fírst European to vísít thís volcano and report ít was French mílítary offícer, Laurent Lapíerre ín 1920. Lapíerre was captured ín combat and taken ín captívíty to a near by mílítary camp. He had the opportuníty to report about hís adventure after hís release a few years later.

About 11 years later an Italían geologíst, Ardíto Desío, reached Waw an Namus duríng a famously long camel journey. He publíshed a geologícal descríptíon of the volcano for the fírst tíme ín 1935.

Today the oasís area ís very popular wíth local tourísts.

Imagíne beíng stranded ín the desert and comíng across thís huge oasís. Not that I plan on that happeníng, but ít would be a beautíful (last) síght to see.

Share thís beautíful oasís wíth others below.

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