There are several contenders for the title “The hottest place on Earth” but Gandom Beryan in Lut Desert, Kerman province is one of the few where this is proven with scientific methods.

The hottest place on Earth

In 2003 – 2005 there was performed valuable and interesting scientific work – mapping of the soil surface temperature of Earth. NASA’s satellite “Aqua” with a help of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flew overhead around 1:30 in the day the whole planet and recorded the temperature of the soil surface.

For calculations of land surface temperatures was used MOD11 methodology with an accuracy of 1 – 0.5 K. This is a specific methodology measuring how hot the surface of the Earth would feel to the touch. One can see how hot the Earth felt every month from February 2000 to September 2010 in this animation of NASA Earth Observatory.

The results of this mission can be considered to be a fairly trustable source of information: and these results show that in 2004 and in 2005 the hottest place on Earth was exactly Lut desert in Iran. It is logical to suppose that the dark-colored Gandom-e Beryan plateau is the hottest place here. MODIS data indicated that temperatures often reach even 71 °C temperature here.

This is not the hottest place of the world in all "disciplines": for example, the air above the surface here is not the hottest (Meteorologists traditionally measure the temperature of the air at 2 m height). In this respect, the record goes to Al-Aziziyah, Libya, where in 1922 was registered the maximum temperature of 57.7°C.

Land surface temperatures in 2003 - 2005, MODIS. The lighter the color, the hotter it is. Lut Desert in Iran is the hottest
Land surface temperatures in 2003 – 2005, MODIS. The lighter the color, the hotter it is. Lut Desert in Iran is the hottest / NASA Earth Observatory, public domain

Dark plateau

Gandom Beryan is a 480 km² large plateau covered with dark lava. The source of this rock is a bit of a mystery as there are no volcanoes in vicinity.

Plateau is located in Shahdad Desert – part of Lut Desert. No roads lead to this remote plateau.

Temperatures on the top of the plateau are bearable only in November – April. It is extremely silent here. Sky in the night is unusually clean and filled with stars – after all this is one of the driest places on Earth and water vapor does not disturb the view.

There are seen no life forms and it seems that there are no microorganisms here. Sterilized milk dries out without getting sour. There are stories about mummified corpses of animals lying on stones for years.

Theoretically the maximum temperatures of soil, if they exceed 70°C, should be enough to fry an egg.

Down, right next to the base plateau, there is a river valley with green plants in it – thus it is not true that Lut desert is totally lifeless. Also, air and soil temperatures below are more bearable. But it is also true that in many other places Lut desert is completely lifeless too.

Scorched wheat

Name of the plateau means "Scorched Wheat". There is a story that the name originated from the following event:

In the 1950s a caravan with camels bringing a load of wheat was going through the desert from Shahdad to Khorasan. Due to an accident, they had to leave the wheat in the desert near the Gandom Beryan hill. A few days later drivers of another caravan noted the abandoned load – the grains were scorched due to the heat. Since then the hill got its present name.

Surroundings of Gandom Beryan have otherworldy beauty and lately are turning into a popular eco-tourism place.

Gandom Beryan is included in the following list:

10 locations with unusual meteorological phenomena
10 locations with unusual meteorological phenomena


  1. The Hottest spot on Earth, NASA Earth Observatory, accessed in the 31st October 2010.
  2. MODIS land team validation, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, accessed in the 1st November 2010.
  3. Zhengming Van, MODIS Land-Surface Temperature Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (LST ATBD), Version 3.3., April 1999. Accessed in the 1st November 2010.
Gandom Beryan in Lut Desert – hottest place on Earth on the map
Travelers' Map is loading...
If you see this after your page is loaded completely, leafletJS files are missing.
Location, GPS coordinates: 31.0562 N 57.6548 E
Categories: Meteorological phenomena, Geographical extremes
Values: Meteorology
Rating: 2.5 out of 10 stars
Where is located? Asia, Iran, Kerman province, black lava plateau 70 km north from Shahdad
Alternate names: Gandom-e Beryan, Rig-e Soukhteh
UNESCO World Heritage status: Part of "Lut Desert", 2016, No.1505

Video of Gandom Beryan

arman shakeri, January 2019

Landmarks of Iran

Vault in Yazd Bazaar, Iran
Vault in Yazd Bazaar / , Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
Iran is one of the most exciting countries of the world regarding the man-made heritage. Here developed some of the most ancient civilizations of the world, ancient people living in Iran developed writing and different technologies. Urban infrastructure of many ancient desert cities in Iran in some aspects is unsurpassed even by the modern standards.

Meteorological phenomena

Storm at Mawson Hut, Antarctica
Storm at Mawson Hut / Frank Hurley, 1911-1914, State Library of New South Wales.
Unusual weather conditions can happen in any place of the world. But there are locations where unusual meteorological phenomena are observed frequently – even every day.

There are not too many landmarks in this category – but several of them are highly unusual and unique.

Recommended books

Weather: The Ultimate Book of Meteorological Events

Weather: The Ultimate Book of Meteorological Events is a compilation of some of the most spectacular weather photography and writing in the world. Adapted from over 20 years of material from the bestselling Weather Guide calendar, this comprehensive volume combines dozens of essays from more than 20 meteorology and climate change experts.

Al Roker’s Extreme Weather

Dive deep into a world of fascinating weather with everyone’s favorite meteorologist, Al Roker!

With this mesmerizing book that covers a wide range of topics, readers will learn about the conditions that generate unique weather occurrences like red sprites, thundersnow, and fogsicles.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x