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Earth's True Hell Hole Revealed: Eastern Iran Desert April 20, 2012
Satellite Thermal Image
Iran's Lut Desert as seen in infrared wavelengths, taken by the Landsat 7 satellite on July 6, 1999.
Satellite observations have identified the world’s hottest place, which is actually far hotter than the previously assumed hot spot of El Azizia, Libya.

That North African city reported a blistering 136 degrees Fahrenheit on Sept. 13, 1922, under questionable exposure conditions for the non-standard thermometer at the time.

That leads some to feel that Death Valley’s slightly cooler reading of 134 degrees in 1913 is actually the world’s hottest accurate reading.

But the U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat satellites have found that Iran’s Lut Desert reached an utterly astounding 159.3 degrees in 2005.

Infrared sensors made the observations possible at a place far from any official weather stations.

Lut’s unique dark-colored landscape readily absorbs solar radiation, letting it heat up far more easily than desert sands, which tend to reflect sunlight.

Researchers from the University of Montana found through analysis of Landsat data that the Lut had the highest surface temperature on Earth in five of the seven years from 2003 to 2009.

While land-based instruments measure air temperatures about six feet above the ground, Landsat measures land skin temperatures, which reflect the pure heating of the ground by the sun and other influences.

Photo: USGS-Landsat