Most of us enjoy the warm weather of the summer and prefer it to being cold. The warmth and sunshine often lifts moods and makes the world seem a better place as people take the opportunity to spend time together out of doors. The days and are longer and nights lighter and everything just seems to be right with the world when the sun is shining and you can feel that warmth on your skin.
Extreme heat however, invokes exactly the opposite feelings. While you may be the first abroad a plane to somewhere hot and sunny for your next holiday, there are places on planet Earth which are simply too hot to be and the extremely high temperatures make life in these climates extremely challenging.
These 8 locations rank amongst the hottest places on the planet and have seen record breaking temperatures which will have you breaking out in a sweat just thinking about them.
This once bustling mining town in the Afar Depression of Ethiopia holds the record for the highest average annual temperature ever recorded. From the years 1960 to 1966, when the mining town was alive with action, Dallol averaged an insane 94 F with reported daytime temperatures exceeding 100 F daily. As this number is an annual average, it means that the temperature of the area only slightly dipped throughout the year. The Afar Depression is a volcanically active area so the town is subject to heat from above and below the ground. It is no wonder that today Dallol is a total ghost town.
Tirat Zvi, Israel
Tirat Zvi sits in the Beit She’an Valley in Israel and is blasted by the sun during the long summer months. Thankfully, the nearby River Jordan keeps the area fertile and so local residents can grow crops and keep livestock but they often find themselves needing to immerse themselves in one of the many small pools which are fed by springs in order to cool down. Tirat Zvi holds the record for the highest temperature ever officially measured in Asia as in June 1942 the temperature crept to 129 F. Even in the cooler years, the area measures average temperatures of 99 F.
Ironically, this town is an Oasis where people come to escape the blistering heat of North Africa. However, it makes it on to the list as Kebili is one of the hottest inhabited places on the planet with regular temperatures creeping over 100 F. The town famous for its exquisite dates has seen some of the highest temperatures ever recorded in Africa with the hottest measured temperature of the area being a sweltering 131 F. The desert oasis has been a haven for those searching for the shade of the palm trees and refreshing water as long as 200,000 years ago so clearly the heat doesn’t put everyone off.
Death Valley, United States of America
Death Valley, California is the lowest, driest and hottest region of North America and holds the world record for the hottest temperature ever directly recorded a blistering 134 F. The World Meteorological Organization awarded Death Valley with the record in 2012 when it was determined that the previous record holder, El Azizia, Libya, reported an invalid measurement. Despite its name, Death Valley is home to plenty of wildlife but mostly nocturnal creatures who wait for the heat of the day to die down before emerging from their cooler burrows.
El Azizia, Libya
El Aziza once held the title of hottest place on earth after a weather station in the region recorded the highest temperature ever directly recorded on the planet in September 1922. A scorching temperature of 136.4 F was recorded and the record stood for 90 years until the World Meteorological Organisation announced in 2012 that the numbers recorded in 1922 were invalid as they were recorded by someone who was inexperienced in meteorology. The record then went to Death Valley, USA. Although no longer a world record holder, El Azizia still sees temperatures tip over 120 F in the summer, making regaining the world record a very likely prospect.
Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth and its Interior Outback sees many of the most extreme hot climates on the planet. Due to the fact that the Outback is so sparsely populated, there is little reasoning for maintaining any sophisticated weather stations in the area so direct and reliable temperature readings are sparse. However, in the droughts of 2003, a NASA satellite registered a ground temperature in the Badlands of Queensland of an unbelievable 156.7 F, smashing the current record recorded temperature.
Nestled deep in the Sahara Desert, Timbuktu is a historical trading hub for those crossing the Saharan trade routes. Although it maintains a stable population and is steeped in history and culture, the town itself is slowly being encroached upon by the desert as huge dunes loom over the city, threatening to reclaim the land which is regularly covered in sand and streets often buried in strong winds. Temperatures here often reach in excess of 130 F with the winter months seeing the hottest temperatures.
Dasht-e Lut, Iran
Dasht-e Lut is hands down the hottest place on Earth. The area of Iran’s Lut desert is so desolate and dry that it is uninhabitable and so there is no one around to monitor direct temperatures as maintaining a weather station in the area is simply not feasible. However, a NASA satellite regularly measured the ground surface temperature of the area from 2004 to 2009 and found it to be the hottest place on earth with the highest temperature being recorded in 2005. Readings showed an eye-watering temperature of 159.3 F which is the highest reading officially confirmed for a location on planet Earth ever.
Rising global temperatures may see more record-breaking temperatures recorded in coming years but reading about these extreme places may keep any complaining about a warm office at bay in the future!