Flaming Mountains, China
Credit: Reza / Getty Images

Rising out of a barren expanse of sand in the Taklamakan Desert, Flaming Mountain is named for the fiery glow it takes on during certain times of the day. The surface temperature can reach 175 F, and visitors are warned that they may notice the soles of their shoes softening as they walk. The mountain lies along the famous Silk Road that connected China to Europe, and history buffs can scope out the ruins at nearby Gaochang, an ancient Uyghur capital.