The mysterious “kalut” of Shahdad (photos)

The mysterious “kalut” of Shahdad  (photos)

(Persia Digest) - The “Lut” plain is a natural landscape of Iran which is a Unesco registered site. Shahdad desert is a major part of the western Lut desert, home to the tallest sand pyramids created by wind and water.

The Lut plain is a large salt desert, also called the Lut pit, Lut desert, or Dasht-e Lut [emptiness plains] in Persian. It is a desert area of around 175 thousand square kilometers, making up one-tenth of Iran’s surface area; it is the world’s twenty-fifth largest desert. Part of it is a sand and gravel wilderness, and part of it is a great salt desert. Thus, scientists believe that it must be called the Lut plains, because the salt desert is only part of it.

The Lut plain has all these characteristics. It is a desert in southeastern Iran, expanding between the South Khorasan, Sistan & Baluchistan, and Kerman provinces. It is the world’s hottest spot at temperatures of 71 degrees centigrade registered in its center. The desert is alive with the unknowns.

The Lut has a dark, dry surface, absorbing maximum heat. For this reason, measurements of the MODIS satellite show that the Lut plain has been the hottest on earth at temperatures of 70.7 degrees centigrade throughout 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2009. Geographers, such as Parviz Kardovani”, believe that the hottest spot on earth is in the Lut desert’s “central pit”, 75kms to the east of Shahdad.

One of the most beautiful sceneries in the Lut plain are the mysterious “Kalut” structures of Shahdad. From a distance, these look like a city of rocky skyscrapers. Some have called it a ghost city, and others the city of Lut. The kalut of Shahdad are the tallest pyramid-shaped structures made of hardened sand created by eroding wind and water. There is almost no life in the midst of these stunning kalut and it is said that no human has been able to walk all the parts of this city of rocks yet.

Close to the kalut of Shahdad, in the heart of the Lut plain, the remains of a 6000-year civilization have been discovered. Numerous terracotta potteries, sculptures, and jewelry have been unearthed in the Shahdad cemetery, the oldest of which is the “Shahdad Derafsh” [vexillum].

The magical, legendary city of kalut has an area of 11 thousand square kilometers. It was created around 20 thousand years ago through erosion. One-hundred hectares of salt flats exist here that have bubbled up in egg-shaped forms, the likes of which have not been seen anywhere else in the world.

 

Photos: Seyed Vahid Hosseini/Ana News Agency

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