Last Updated on June 13, 2022

Dasht-e Lut is a desert located in southeastern Iran, specifically in the Kerman, Sistan and Baluchistan provinces.

It is itself considered one of the largest deserts in the world; in fact, it is as much as 480 km long and 320 km wide, with an area of about 51,800 square kilometers, although it is not as large as the Sahara desert, which spans 11 countries in northern africa. Dasht-e Lut is just as impressive in terms of world records, though, for it is known to be the hottest place on Earth.

The site was also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since July 2016.

Dasht-e Lut desert, Iran.

Climate

Climatically speaking, Iran is part of the Afro-Asian desert belt from the Cape Verde Islands off West Africa to Mongolia, while geographically speaking, the country consists of a plateau surrounded by mountains and divided into drainage basins. The largest of these basins is precisely the Dasht-e Lut, followed immediately by Iran’s other great desert, called the Dasht-e Kavir. During the wet season of spring rains, water flows down from the nearby Kerman Mountains and floods the area, but in a very short period of time it dries up, leaving only rocks, sand and salt.

In addition, in this area, besides sand and dunes, which can be up to 300 meters high, there are also several rocky ridges, as well as numerous gorges and sinkholes.

Dasht-e Lut desert, Iran.

The hottest desert in the world

The Lut Desert is especially known for being the hottest desert on Earth; in fact, measurements taken by Nasa, between 2003 and 2010, showed that it reached a record-breaking temperature of 70.7 °C, the highest ever recorded on our planet. This is hotter than the Sahara desert, the largest desert in the world.

To be exact, the highest temperature zone in this desert is Gandom Beryan, a plateau covered with solidified lava that is roughly 480 km² wide. According to local legend, this name, which means “toasted grain” in Persian, is said to derive from an incident as a result of which a load of grain was abandoned in the desert and subsequently burned by the heat within a few days.

For all these reasons, no human settlement has ever been established in this desert.

Read also: Sandboarding in Iran

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