Lake Assal (French: Lac Assal) is a crater lake in central Djibouti. It lies 155 m (509 ft) below sea level in the Afar Depression and its shores comprise the lowest point on land in Africa and the third lowest land depression on Earth after the Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee.
Lake Assal is considered the most saline body of water on earth outside Antarctica, with 34.8 percent salt concentration (up to 40% at 20 m (66 ft) depth), similar to Garabogazköl and higher than the 33.7 percent level in the Dead Sea (often incorrectly considered the world's most saline lake), and an average of 3.5 percent in the world's oceans.
One thing that makes Assal unique is that, unlike the other major hypersaline lakes of the world, its major source of water is not from incoming streams. The sources of the lake are hot springs whose salinity is close to sea water, which are fed by the Gulf of Tadjoura (French: Golfe de Tadjoura), the western extension of the Gulf of Aden, specifically the nearly closed-off bay Ghoubet Kharab, about 10 km southeast of the lake.
The area is wild and desert-like, and no fauna or flora can be seen in the syrupy waters of the lake. The high temperature of the water (33-34 °C) favors evaporation, and it is surrounded by a salt pan (extending west and mainly northwest).