In the heart of Dasht-e Kavir, a large desert in Iran, there is an enormous area of sand dunes known as Rig-e Jenn. At about 1,400 square miles, it is said to be one of the most impossible areas in the world to pass through.
There are no routes, no trails, no water — just the crazy hills of insanely soft sand. Knowledge of the dunes has come from only the handful of researchers that have dared to explore it, but even caravan travellers in the area avoid this area.
A brave, Danish traveller and photographer, Thomas Flensted, paired up with RO Nature, a team of Iranian safari travel experts, and took on the dangerous challenge of travelling through Rig-e Jenn. Here’s what their four days of travel were like.
They met up in Tehran, Iran, and drove almost a full day to get to the dunes. Since the dunes are in the middle of the desert, it was very tough to get there.
The group drove for many hours on the highway, making their way to the back roads, over a dry river, then straight through the desert before they could see the dunes. By the time the group got there the first day, it was already time to set up camp for the night.
'The drive itself was an experience,' Flensted told Business Insider. Since there is absolutely no route through Rig-e Jenn, they had to pay very close attention to the GPS systems they were using.
The temperatures at Rig-e Jenn can be very dangerous. In the summer, it can get up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Luckily for Flensted, they went in the off season -- dealing with weather in the in high 70s during the day and low 40s throughout the night.
Not only are the dunes dangerous, but they are said to be home to evil spirits. Many residents of neighbouring towns and villages still believe there are evil spirits to this day.
It is still believed that those who step foot in Rig-e Jenn will either disappear, or die from starvation or dehydration.
Flensted and his group would start their days making breakfast over the campfire then venture off to the new campsite to explore and pass through the entirety of the dunes.
They were completely packed with food and water -- so the only issues they ran into were car troubles. Some mornings the car wouldn't start, and oftentimes the tires would get stuck in the deep, soft sand.
'The desert was incomprehensibly vast and extremely beautiful. I grew up in the city, I've always lived in the city, and my country is not the most exciting nature-wise -- so this was quite the experience for me!' Flensted said.
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