Dallol geothermal complex, Ethiopia
Researchers explored a wide range of samples taken from four zones within the Dallol geothermal complex in Ethiopia between 2016 and 2018.

A group of French scientists say that they had discovered a place on Earth where no life can exist despite the presence of water in the area.

In their findings published by the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, the Diversity, Ecology and Evolution of Microbes (DEEM) team of biologists from French national research agency CNRS and the University of Paris-Sud said they made the discovery while visiting the "inhospitable" Dallol hydrothermal pools of northern Ethiopia, near the Eritrean border.

"We identify two major physicochemical barriers that prevent life from thriving in the presence of liquid water on Earth and, potentially, elsewhere, despite the presence of liquid water at the surface of a planet being a widely accepted criterion for habitability," the researchers claimed.

Between 2016 and 2018, they deployed a spate of scientific techniques to search for any trace of life in the Dallol ponds and lakes system only to conclude that the combination of extreme levels of saline and acid there were too much for any organism.

The scientists explained that apart from the fact that the water in the Dallol area is extremely acidic and salty, it contains a huge amount of magnesium.

This confirms a theory that the water does not contain any harmful substances or bacteria because under such conditions, living cells are destroyed.

An earlier study of the Dallol area claimed to have uncovered some evidence of extremely tiny microbial life surviving against the odds.

The researchers expressed hope that their findings would add to restricting the presumed parameters for habitability, and would also serve as a warning about how scientists should interpret biosignatures "on Earth and beyond."