Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran // Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran (Marion Bull/Alamy)

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Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran

Hot heights: 70.7°C (159.2°F)

This improbably high temperature was recorded by a Nasa satellite flying over the searingly hot sands of the Lut desert in 2005. However, the reading taken was of the surface temperature of the desert, which doesn't really count - official temperature readings must be taken out of direct sunlight so they record air temperature.

That said, had you been wandering through the desert that day you would have been subject to that same surface temperature unless you were carrying a parasol.

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