Lut Desert

Iran Nomad ToursOtherLut Desert

What draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote

Edward Abbey


Lut desert is the first vast desert plain in the southeast of Iran and among the super hot and dry deserts of the world, which is spread among the three provinces of South Khorasan, Sistan and Baluchistan and Kerman.  This plain covers about 10% of Iran’s territory.  Lut desert was measured as the hottest place on earth by being located in the thermal pole of the earth in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009, and in 2005, with a temperature above 70 degrees Celsius, it recorded the hottest temperature on the planet. As one of the most inaccessible deserts in the world, Lut desert attracts many photographers, geologists, historians and tourists, each of them trying to discover the secrets of this vast desert.


Lut desert is divided into three geographical units:

1) Northern Lut, which is composed of elements like gravel, grit and sand

2) Central Lut, the most amazing part of Lut, which is home to one of the most unique phenomena in the world: yardangs (natural phenomena with different forms that emerge as a result of the combined mechanism of water and wind and erosion of the earth) and also huge sand mounds and hills

3) South Lut, which is the richest in vegetation among these geographical units.

Lut desert with an area of ​​nearly 120 thousand square kilometres includes about 10% of the area of ​​Iran.  This desert, which is located in the southeast of Iran, has been registered as the first natural attraction of Iran in the UNESCO natural heritage list.  Lut in Balochi language means “bare, without water and grass, thirsty and empty”, which, in an exaggerated attempt, can be attributed to Lut desert (since only part of the geography of this region has desert characteristics and a large part of it has wilderness climatic characteristics).  Due to the vastness of this area, Lut desert includes different climates and covers areas with different weather conditions. There is an area near Lut Desert called “Central pit of Gandom Beryan”, which has been introduced as the hottest spot on earth.

In the following, we will elaborate on different parts of Lut desert:

  • Yardangs: As a result of soil erosion, sand pyramids are formed, among which ditches with a lower height can be seen.  This phenomenon, called yardang, is created by the erosion caused by the movement of the river and the 120-day winds of Sistan and Baluchistan.  Lut Desert‘s yardangs are located 42 kilometres from Shahdad and in an area with a length of 145 kilometres and a width of 85 kilometres.
  • Dunes: These sand-based natural phenomena are located in an area of ​​about 50,000 hectares, in the eastern part of Lut Desert.
  • Dasht Sar: This area, which is called Haamada in foreign sources, has large and small stones side by side.  Because of the way these stones are placed together, it is also called desert pavement.  The reason for the creation of this natural design in Dasht-e-Sar Desert  is water and wind erosion and extreme temperature changes.

In the following, some of the wonders of Lut desert will be introduced:

The amazing, clear sky and the plain of shining stars at night in the Lut desert are one of the unique beauties of this mysterious region, which you won’t find in many places in the world.

Shahdad’s yardangs is a place known as the cursed city of the people of Lot, and in some parts of it, no human footprints can be seen.  In another part of these caves though, traces of ancient civilizations of 3000 BC such as pottery and stoneware can be seen.  The ancient city of Shahdad, where the Arta people lived, is the place where the Shahdad flag was found as the oldest metal flag discovered in the world.  This area dates back to about 20,000 years ago.

As mentioned before, the central part of Lut desert is very hot, burning and uninhabitable even for bacteria.  However, in an area called Zangi Ahmad, towers have been found next to which glass and pottery works have been seen, which is a sign of an ancient civilization in this area.

Lut desert is one of the most inaccessible deserts in the world.  This has made many stories related to it and many secrets of this vast area still remain unknown.

When you hear the name “desert“, you probably don’t imagine any lake or river in such an area.  But it is interesting to know that many rivers used to flow in this vast desert, and only a trace of them can be seen now.  In the west of this desert, which leads to the mountains of Kerman province, many rivers flow. Shoor River, which is located in the northwest of Lut desert, eventually flows between the yardangs of this area.

So no matter who you are, an archeologist or historian in search of mysterious facts about this desert, a photographer or filmmaker eager to capture the vast beauty of the area, a geographer, travel journalist or a simple nature lover passionate about knowing this desert more, Lut desert will not disappoint you. Travelling to Lut is one of those trips that will be both fun, enriching and educational. So what are you waiting for? Mysteries of the desert are summoning you