North-east Africa’s Afar region is a site of scientific interest as some of the biggest palaeoanthropological breakthroughs have arisen there. This includes the discovery of the 3.2-million-year- old fossilised remains of a female nicknamed Lucy.
The rift’s history holds the answers to many questions about our ancestors’ evolution and how early humans developed the intelligence to walk on two feet and adapt to major climate changes. Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge in particular has unearthed over 60 hominids (early humans).
The fossil deposits in this steep-sided, 40-kilometre (25-mile)-long gorge saw it become a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1979. No other location has revealed ancient remnants so closely connected to their environment.