As the US comes out of a polar vortex that saw temperatures plunge to -45C and the UK’s snow finally starts to thaw, here are destinations on the other end of the spectrum: these are the 10 hottest places on earth.
1. Death Valley, California, USA
This currently holds the record for hottest air temperature ever recorded. The desert valley reached highs of 56.7 degrees in the summer of 1913, which would apparently push the limits of human survival. Average temperatures today reach 47 degrees during summer, and it’s the driest place in the States.
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The former capital of the Jafara district, 25 miles south of Tripoli, used to claim the title of hottest place on earth – in 1922 the temperature was recorded as a sweltering 58 degrees. However, it was stripped of its title in 2012 when meteorologists declared this invalid due to a number of factors, including the fact that the person who recorded it was inexperienced. However, the town still regularly experiences temperatures of over 48 degrees in midsummer.
3. Dallol, Ethiopia
This hydrothermal field with salt formations, acidic hot springs, and gas geysers had an average daily maximum temperature of 41 degrees recorded from 1960 to 1966. These soaring numbers mean it has the highest average temperature of any inhabited place on earth.
4. Wadi Halfa, Sudan
During the year, there is virtually no rainfall in Wadi Halfa, a sweltering city located on the shores of Lake Nubia in Sudan. June is the hottest month, with average temperature highs of 41 degrees – the hottest temperature ever recorded there was 53 degrees in April 1967.
5. Dasht-e Loot, Iran
This desert plateau has the hottest ground temperatures on the planet – satellite measurements taken between 2003 and 2009 found a maximum temperature of a staggering 70.7 degrees. Needless to say, the region is uninhabited.
6. Tirat Zvi, Israel
The small kibbutz of Tirat Zvi boasts the hottest temperature on record in Asia – in June 1942 it hit 54 degrees. The record has since been questioned by Christopher C Burt (one of the investigators into the now-disqualified Aziziyah world record), who claims that the thermograph reading was incorrectly read and should have been 53 degrees. But even on an off year, it hits average highs of 37.
7. Timbuktu, Mali
This city on the south edge of the Sahara is even hot in winter, reaching average highs of 30 degrees in January. The hottest temperature ever recorded was 49 degrees.
8. Kebili, Tunisia
This desert town is known for its quality dates, which obviously don’t mind the average temperature highs of 40+ degrees during the summer. The highest temperature on record is a whopping 55 degrees.
9. Ghadames, Libya
This oasis in the middle of the desert is now a Unesco World Heritage Site thanks to its iconic huts made from mud, which help protect the 7,000 inhabitants from the intense heat. Known as “the pearl of the desert”, it reaches average highs of 40 degrees and a temperature of 55 degrees was once recorded.
10. Bandar-e Mahshahr, Iran
This sweltering city hit the second highest heat index on record – the heat index combines air temperature and relative humidity. Bandar-e Mahshahr registered a heat index of 74 degrees in July 2015. The hottest recorded temperature there is 51 degrees.
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