Exploring the Hottest Places on Earth
When you think of heat, your mind might jump to the hottest days of summer or a particularly hot sauna. But there are places on this planet that push the limits of heat to the extreme. These scorching locations are so hot that they make daily life a challenge, and even a short visit can be dangerous without proper precautions. Here are 10 places that can rightfully claim the title of hottest place on Earth.
1. Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California
Furnace Creek is located in the heart of Death Valley, the lowest and hottest place in North America. Temperatures here regularly reach over 120°F (49°C) during the summer months, and the air is so dry that you can feel your body getting dehydrated almost instantly. Despite the name, Furnace Creek has no natural water source, and relies entirely on imported water for its residents and visitors.
2. Timbuktu, Mali
Timbuktu is a city in the West African country of Mali, and is known for its rich history and vibrant culture. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hottest places on Earth, with temperatures regularly exceeding 115°F (46°C) during the peak of summer. The city’s residents have adapted by wearing loose, flowing clothing and staying indoors during the hottest part of the day.
3. Dasht-e Lut, Iran
The Dasht-e Lut is a salt desert in Iran that has been recognized as one of the hottest places on Earth. In 2016, NASA recorded a surface temperature of 159.3°F (70.7°C) in the desert, making it the hottest spot on the planet at the time. With no shade, no water, and no relief from the sun, the Dasht-e Lut is a challenging environment for even the most seasoned travelers.
4. Dallol, Ethiopia
Dallol is a small town in northern Ethiopia, and is home to one of the hottest inhabited places on Earth. Temperatures here have been recorded as high as 145°F (63°C), with the surrounding landscape dotted with sulfuric hot springs and acidic lakes. Despite the harsh conditions, the area is home to a number of species of bacteria and microorganisms that are found nowhere else on the planet.
5. Kebili, Tunisia
Kebili is a town located in the heart of the Tunisian Sahara, and is one of the hottest and driest places in the world. Temperatures here regularly exceed 120°F (49°C), and the area sees less than half an inch of rain per year. Despite these conditions, the oasis town is home to a thriving community of farmers and traders, who have adapted to the environment over generations.
6. Tirat Zvi, Israel
Tirat Zvi is a small town located in the Jordan Valley, and is known for its extreme heat during the summer months. Temperatures here have been recorded as high as 129°F (54°C), making it one of the hottest places in the Middle East. Despite the heat, the town is known for its innovative greenhouse technology, which allows farmers to grow crops in the harsh desert landscape.
7. Wadi Halfa, Sudan
Wadi Halfa is a small town located in the Nubian Desert of northern Sudan, and is one of the hottest and driest places on the planet. During the summer months, temperatures here regularly reach over 120°F (49°C), and the area sees less than an inch of rain per year. Despite the harsh conditions, the area is home to a number of rare and endangered plant and animal species.
8. The Lut Desert, Iran
The Lut Desert, also known as the Dasht-e Lut, is a vast salt desert that stretches across southeastern Iran. It’s one of the hottest and driest places on Earth, with temperatures regularly exceeding 140°F (60°C) during the peak of summer. The desert is also home to a number of geological wonders, including the world’s largest yardang, or wind-sculpted rock formation.
9. Al-Aziziyah, Libya
Al-Aziziyah is a small town located in the northwestern part of Libya, and is known for its high temperatures and extreme dryness. In 1922, the town set a world record for the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth, with thermometers reading 136.4°F (58°C). The record was later disputed, but the town continues to see scorching temperatures every summer.
10. Hami, China
Hami is a city located in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, and is known for its extreme heat during the summer months. Temperatures here have been recorded as high as 112°F (44°C), and the city sees less than an inch of rain per year. Despite the harsh conditions, the area is home to a thriving agricultural community, which grows a variety of crops using innovative irrigation techniques.
These 10 locations represent some of the hottest and most challenging environments on Earth. While they may seem inhospitable to humans, they are also home to a rich variety of plant and animal life that has adapted to the extreme conditions. If you’re planning a visit to any of these locations, be sure to take the necessary precautions to avoid heat stroke and dehydration, and to respect the natural environment.