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Dasht-e Loot

Look at the above pictures. What are they? Are they fake images? No!

They are the ASTER images were acquired on May 13, 2006 and July 17, 2003. cover an area of 30 x 45 km, and are located near 30.2 degrees north latitude, 59.1 degrees east longitude. These images represent the beauty of a desert in central Iran.  the center of this place has been sculpted by the wind into a series of parallel ridges and furrows (left image), extending over 150 km and reaching 75m in height. This area is also riddled with ravines and sinkholes. The southeast is a vast expanse of sand, like a Saharan erg, with dunes 300m high (right image), among the tallest in the world.

This desert is called Dasht-e Loot.

Dasht-e Loot (Persian: دشت لوت‎‎) is a large salt desert in Kerman and Sistan and Baluchistan Province, Iran and is the world’s 25th largest desert. The surface of the sand there has been measured at temperatures as high as 70 °C and it is one of the world’s driest and hottest places. It was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list on July 17, 2016.

Iran’s geography consists of a plateau surrounded by mountains and divided into drainage basins. Dasht-e Loot is one of the largest of these desert basins, 480 kilometers long and 320 kilometers wide, and is considered to be one of the driest places on Earth. Area of the desert is about 51,800 square kilometers.

During the spring wet season, water briefly flows down from the Kerman mountains, but it soon dries up, leaving behind only rocks, sand, and salt.

The eastern part of Dasht-e Loot is a low plateau covered with salt flats. In contrast, the center has been sculpted by the wind into a series of parallel ridges and furrows, extending over 150 km and reaching 75 meters in height. This area is also riddled with ravines and sinkholes. The southeast is a vast expanse of sand, like a Saharan erg, with dunes 300 meters high, among the tallest in the world.

Measurements of MODIS (Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) installed on NASA’s Aqua satellite from 2003 to 2010 testify that the hottest land surface on Earth is located in Dasht-e Loot and land surface temperatures reach here 70.7 °C though the air temperature is cooler. Precision of measurements is 0.5 K to 1 K.

The hottest part of Dasht-e Loot is Gandom Beryan, a large plateau covered in dark lava, approximately 480 square kilometres in area. According to a local legend, the name (in translation from Persian — “Toasted wheat”) originates from an accident where a load of wheat was left in the desert which was then scorched by the heat in a few days.

Dasht-e Loot of Iran, a desert which contains a collection of exclusive desert relieves and geological and geomorphological records of the world. Such unique perspectives as the biggest Nebkhas of the world, the largest Yardangs or Kaluts of the world, the hottest point of the earth, as well as rare species of desert structures such as salt marshes and salt polygons, Gandom Beryan Hill, massive sand dunes, Barchans, clay zones in pretty shapes, saline river , etc.