Desert discovery: 'Sensational' new species found in the ‘hottest place on Earth

EXPLORERS have discovered an amazing new animal found thriving in the hottest place on the planet.

PUBLISHED: 13:27, Mon, Sep 7, 2020 | UPDATED: 13:30, Mon, Sep 7, 2020

A hardy new type of arthropod has been discovered able to withstand the blistering heat of the Lut Desert, Iran, believed to be the hottest place in the world. Identified as a freshwater Crustacea, the species belongs to the genus Phallocryptus.

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Only four similar species were previously known to live in predominately dry areas.

Discovering crustaceans in this otherwise hot and dry environment was really sensational

Dr Hossein Rajaei

The discovery during an expedition of the infamous desert area in an attempt to better understand the Lut’s diverse desert ecology, biodiversity, geomorphology and palaeontology.

Detailed scientific examinations of the specimen confirm they belong to a new species of freshwater Crustacea.

The researchers named the new species Phallocryptus fahimii, in honour of Iranian conservation biologist Hadi Fahimi, who participated in the 2017 expedition but died only a year later.

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Explorers have discovered an amazing new animal found thriving in the hottest place on the planetExplorers have discovered an amazing new animal found thriving in the hottest place on the planet (Image: Getty)

A bizarre new type of arthropod has been discovered able to withstand the blistering heat of LutA bizarre new type of arthropod has been discovered able to withstand the blistering heat of Lut (Image: Getty)

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Dr Rajaei, a State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart entomologist, who found the species in a small seasonal lake in a southern area of the desert described the discovery as sensational’

He said: "During an expedition to such an extreme place you are always on alert, in particular when finding water.

"Discovering crustaceans in this otherwise hot and dry environment was really sensational."

Phallocryptus fahimii differs in both its structure and genetics from all other

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