Lut Desert, Iran
Credit: Kaveh Kazemi / Getty Images

Researchers analyzing data gathered via satellite found that the Lut Desert (Dasht-e Lut) has the highest surface temperature ever recorded, a blistering 159.3 F. Their analysis of the satellites' "land skin temperature" readings around the world had the Iranian desert at the top of the list for five of the seven years studied. The Lut's baking salt flats are bordered by massive dunes shooting hundreds of feet into the air, including the world's tallest sand pyramid, which tops out at about 1600 feet.