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9 of the World's Hottest Deserts

Updated on July 12, 2016
esja profile image

Esmé has a deep appreciation for nature and environmental affairs. As I am a travel junkie, I have been almost everywhere at least once...

The Sahara Desert, one of the most beautiful places on earth


6 - The number of hours required for the world's deserts to absorb more energy from the sun than consumed by humans in a year.

Desert Scenes

Accommodation | Source
Transport | Source

Deserts of the World

  • Like many other people, I am fascinated by deserts. I am fascinated by the long stretches of sand and dunes seemingly devoid of life. I am fascinated by their solitude and stillness and the general lack of background noise, and by the desert's ability to sustain animals and people who can dare to make a life there.
  • The desolate terrain of a desert is not for the fainthearted; water is scarce and if you do not know where to find it, life as you know it will be over. Unless you are like the Bedouin or the Bushmen of the Kalahari, you are better off somewhere else or with a qualified guide.

1. The Arabian Desert

  • The Arabian desert is located in the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It covers a massive 900,000 sq mi or 2,330,000 square kilometers. Astonishing. Temperatures range from 104°F/40°C to 114.8°F/46°C, and rainfall varies between 30 mm and 100 mm - a lot of heat with a little bit of rain.
  • This desert's distinction is that it is the world's largest continuous body of sand. The famous Rub'al-Khali is found at its center. The Arabian Desert is home to quicksand and red dunes, and animals such as lizards,sand cats, Oryx, and gazelles survive in this climate. Plants to be found here are cacti and salt bush.

The sights of the Arabian Desert


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2. The Great Victoria Desert - hottest desert in Australia

  • The Great Victoria Desert is located in Western Australia and covers an area of 134,650 sq mi or 348,750 square km. Impressive. Temperatures go up to 104 °F / 40 °C with annual rainfall in the region of 9.8 in / 250 mm.
  • In contrast to other deserts that consist mainly of sand, The Great Victoria Desert is a landscape of salt lakes, grassland plains, and small sand hills while other parts are covered in pebbles. The latter is aptly called "desert pavement."
  • To survive here, plants have to be hardy, adaptable and desperate. A number of animals call it home but there are not too many of them.

Pictures of the Great Victoria Desert

The hot and dry Lut Desert

3. The Lut Desert

  • The Lut Desert is situated towards the southeast of Iran and is known as Dasht-e Lut in Persian, meaning "emptiness desert." The size of this desert is 20,000 sq. mi / 51,800 square kilometers and that is not large by desert standards.
  • What makes this desert so unique is the fact that it is considered one of the hottest places on earth with temperatures easily going up as high as 159°F / 70.7°C. Very hot indeed. This is not the kind of place and climate where people can live in comfort.
  • Furthermore, it is one of earth's driest places with rainfall almost non-existent.

4. The Kalahari Desert

  • The Kalahari Desert is located in southern Africa and spans the countries of Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa. The size of this desert is 350,000 sq. mi / 900,000 square kilometers. Day temperatures can reach 113 °F / 45 °C and rainfall is often as little 4.3 in / 110 millimeters.
  • Because of the fact that The Kalahari Desert is semi-desert, many animal species wander the dunes and plains. Elephant, lion, and cheetah wander into the area but it is mainly antelope that adapt to these conditions. Acacia trees as well as grasses and herbs dot the landscape.
  • Not all deserts are attractive but the Kalahari landscape is pleasing to the eye. The night sky is packed to capacity with stars with the Southern Cross and Milky Way major players in the drama.

The sights of the Kalahari Dessert


5. The Mojave Desert

  • The Mojave Desert covers large parts of the United States. It encompasses sections of the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. Its size is huge, a staggering 47,877 sq. mi / 124,000 km2 and rainfall is minimal, only about 330 mm / 13 in annually. Temperatures sometimes soar to highs of 54 °C / 130 °F in the lowest valley floors.
  • The landscape consists of mountain ranges, salt pans, lakes, and basins, and animal and plant life are varied and numerous. Animals such as foxes, lizards, birds, and other mammals make a life in the desert. Interesting plants include the Joshua tree, palms, and daisies.

Mojave Desert


The location of the Mojave Desert

What the Monte looks like

6. The Monte Desert

  • The Monte Desert is a warm scrub-desert in Argentina in South America. It lies on the foot of the Andes Mountains and reaches as far as the Pacific Ocean in the east. Temperatures soar to as high as 44°C in summer and rainfall is limited to about 250 mm.
  • The geography of the dessert consists of volcanic sediments, salt lakes, large mountains, and Piedmont plains.
  • Plant life includes evergreen bushes that form the steppe part of the desert, and scrub land that is the dominant feature in this area. Animals that visitors will encounter here are rats, pumas, and reptiles such as the boa constrictor.

Monte Desert, Argentina


Sahara Desert Landscape

The size and shape of the Sahara desert
The size and shape of the Sahara desert
Sahara Desert Oasis
Sahara Desert Oasis | Source

7. The Sahara Desert

  • The Sahara is large, all 3,600,000 sq. mi / 9,400,000 square km of it. To put it in perspective, the entire desert is about the size of countries like the United States or China. It covers an enormous part of Northern Africa. The dunes of the Sahara are large; many reach as high as 590 ft. / 180 meters. In Arabic, Sahara translates as "The Great Desert."
  • The highest temperature ever recorded is 122 °F / 50 °C and rainfall can be anything from zero - 250 mm. The Sahara is the sunniest place on earth with the most sunlight hours overall.
  • It has snow, ice, and an astonishing number of plant species, about 500 plant species in total. A number of foxes roam the land as well as gazelles and cheetahs, lizards, and sand vipers.

8. The Sonoran Desert

  • The Sonoran Desert is 'n North American desert which encompasses 110,000 sq mi / 280,000 square kilometers. Rainfall is between 3 and 15 inches / 76 to 400 mm and temperatures rise to 34º F / 57º C, making it a dry and hot place. Parts of the desert falls in Mexico and this conjures up images of cacti.
  • The desert has six sub-regions, namely the Yuha, Yuma, Tonopah, Colorado, Lechuguilla and Gran Desierto de Altar deserts.
  • This desert supports a lot of life, Wikipedia lists them as follow: "60 mammal species, 350 bird species, 20 amphibian species, over 100 reptile species, 30 native fish species, over 1000 native bee species, and more than 2,000 native plant species."

Sonoran Desert Life

9. The Thar Desert

  • The Thar Desert is a desert in the northwest of India and lies on the border with Pakistan. The landscape is comprised of stretches of sand with sandy and gravel plains as well as small hills in between. Size wise it is a mere 77,000 sq mi / 200,000 km2 with annual rainfall in the region of 4 - 20 in / 100 - 500 mm.
  • Plants include grasses, herbs, scrubs and small trees and mammals of the region are the black buck and Indian wild ass. Many resident and migratory birds can be seen here, birds like falcons, eagles, vultures and kestrels.

What the Thar Desert look lilke


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    • esja profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks, I enjoyed the trip!

    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 

      3 years ago

      Thanks for Sharing This Information About "9 of the World's Hottest Deserts"

    • esja profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from South Africa

      Okay, cool, good to know.

    • Hazel Abee profile image

      Hazel Abee 

      3 years ago from Malaysia

      I am from tropical country .. there is no dessert here ... probably it is almost same as South Africa ... but more greens and rains ...

    • Milieunet profile image

      Erik van Erne 

      3 years ago from Utrecht, The Netherlands

      Great post

    • esja profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you Hazel.

      Do you have deserts where you are?

    • Hazel Abee profile image

      Hazel Abee 

      3 years ago from Malaysia

      You have actually brought out the beauty of the dessert .... amazing !!


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