The arrival of summer signals that it is now time to put away our cardigans and make the most of the warm weather. And while we’re all for spending our vacations lounging on tropical beaches and working up a sweat in the heat of the tropics, there are some locations in the world where temperatures go much above what is considered safe for human habitation (unless tanning in 120-degree weather sounds like your cup of tea). These are the hottest areas on Earth, from California to South Africa and everywhere.
1. Bangkok, Thailand
This bustling metropolis is notorious for its relentless heat, and with a mean annual temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the city is never at a temperature where one can feel comfortable. Nevertheless, the period from March to May, when temperatures frequently reach 35 to 37.8 °C (95 to 100 °F) and the humidity remains at a debilitating 90 percent, puts it on our list.
2. Dallol, Ethiopia
A hydrothermal zone can be found in this region in northern Ethiopia. Salt deposits, gas geysers, and acidic springs characterize it. Dallol now holds the record for having the highest annual temperature average for any inhabited place on Earth. The yearly mean temperature of the location was 34.4 °C from 1960 to 1966. However, the average maximum temperature during that period was reported as a scorching 41.1 °C (106 °F). It is one of the most isolated locations on Earth, and although new roads to the neighboring town of Hamed Ela are currently being constructed, one of the most common ways to get around is by camel!
3. Doha, Qatar
Even though Doha is a significant and modern metropolis, the people who live there are nonetheless engaged in a never-ending struggle for comfort against Mother Nature. In this location, the temperature reached a high of 50.3 °C (122.7 °F) as recently as 2010. As a result of the temperatures, Doha decided to construct climate-controlled stadiums in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, the residents of Doha decided to develop an indoor snow park within the Doha Festival City Mall.
4. Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan
A vast, flaming chasm draws tourists to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, where record highs have reached 50.6 °C (123 °Fahrenheit). Known as the “Gates of Hell,” this crater is a collapsed natural gas field that was likely set on fire by the Soviet Union in 1971 to contain methane gas. Today, the Darvaza gas crater is one of the country’s most recognizable attractions.
5. Oodnadatta, South Australia
The Outback is hot and dangerous; if your vehicle breaks down, you could find yourself in a very precarious situation. It is more than 500 miles away from any major cities, but Oodnadatta can be found smack dab in the middle. Even though it has served as a trade center for thousands of years, Oodnadatta is located in such a remote area that even The Ghan, a train that travels throughout Australia, now goes around it. This is likely because of the local thermostat, which in 1960 reached a new Australian record high of 50.72 °C (123.3 °F).
6. Mexicali, Mexico
Nearly one million people call this bustling city about two hours away from San Diego home. It is also the center of Mexico’s aerospace industry. The city also holds the record for the second hottest temperature ever recorded in North America: 52 °C (125.6 °F). A significant portion of this heat can be attributed to the mountaintops of the Colorado Desert, which are responsible for absorbing cloud cover. As a result, the valleys below are left dry and unprotected from the sun.
7. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
The glistening, contemporary towers of Jeddah watch over tourists making their way to resorts and pilgrimage sites along the Red Sea. Even though Jeddah is located on the coast and has a dry climate for most of the year, it is nonetheless subject to the scorching temperatures typical of the Arabian Peninsula. In 2010, a blistering 52.11 °C (125.8 °F) was observed here, making it one of the hottest temperatures recorded in Asia.
8. Arabian Desert, United Arab Emirates
When we think of the heat of the desert, our minds usually go to images of dry, dusty landscapes that make us feel as though our pores are being sucked dry. That is not the situation in the United Arab Emirates, a country whose crown jewel is the extravagant city of Dubai, which serves as the capital. Both luxury and oppressive heat are synonymous with the city of Dubai. Extreme heat is standard throughout the summer months in the UAE. In the year 2002, an astonishing 52.11 °C (125.8 °F) was recorded at a weather station located at a frontier outpost in the Arabian Desert.
9. Basra, Iraq
Even in a country used to scorching heat waves and intense sunlight, Basra is notorious for having unbearably high temperatures. The proximity of Basra to the Persian Gulf contributes to the city’s consistently high humidity levels throughout the warm months. This ancient port city’s average high temperature throughout the summer months is far above 50 °C (122 °F). On the other hand, such temperatures didn’t even come close to the record high of 53.77 °C (128.8 °F) in the city in July 2016.
10. Kebili, Tunisia
The village of Kebili is located in the south of Tunisia and is considered one of the oldest oases in North Africa. It was in this town that archaeologists found the country’s first definitive evidence of human occupancy, which dates back approximately 200,000 years. However, this is not the only record that Kebili possesses; the World Meteorological Organization reports that it also owns the record for the hottest temperature that has ever been recorded in Africa. Temperatures in the middle of July frequently reach approximately 40.9 °C (105.62 °F), with temperatures rarely falling below 25.5 °C (77.9 °F) at night. Although the recorded high of 55 °C (131 °F) in 1931 has been contested, temperatures often reach near these levels. 156,000 people live in this town; fortunately, there are lots of palm palms for them to seek shelter.
11. Death Valley, California
Death Valley, otherwise named Furnace Creek, holds the record for the highest air temperature ever measured. During the summer of 1913, the hottest temperature in the desert valley was 56.7 °C (134 °F), which pushed the limits of human survival. Even if this temperature is proven incorrect, Furnace Creek still holds the record: in August 2020, a temperature of 54.4 °C (129.92 °F) was recorded. The average summertime maximum temperature is 47 °C (116.6 °F), and it is the driest place in the United States.
12. Aziziyah, Libya
In 1922, the old seat of the Jafara region, which is approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Tripoli, held the dubious distinction of being the hottest site on Earth. The temperature there was measured at a searing 58 °C (136.4 °F). However, in 2012, meteorologists deemed this record invalid due to several circumstances, one of which was that the individual who recorded it was inexperienced. As a result, the record was removed from its position as the world’s highest. Despite this, it is not uncommon for the town to see temperatures in the middle of summer higher than 48 °C (118.4 °F).
13. China’s Flaming Mountains
The Flaming Mountains are a series of sandstone peaks in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. During the summer, the site’s temperatures often top 50 °C (122 °F), making it the hottest place in China. In addition, the heat might be amplified by radiation emitted by the rocks. In 2008, satellite measurements suggested a soil surface temperature of 66.8 °C (152.2 °F). However, this has yet to be validated. To beat the heat, modern Chinese people cover their mattresses and automobile seats with bamboo mats and drink cups of mung bean juice, which is said to lower the body’s internal temperature.
14. Dasht-e Loot, Iran
This desert plateau boasts ground temperatures that are the warmest anywhere on the planet; satellite measurements between 2003 and 2009 indicated a maximum temperature of an astounding 70.7 °C (159.26 °F). No people are living in that place.
15. The Sahara desert
This desert is the largest hot desert in the world and is located on the African Continent. It covers a significant portion of North Africa. Because there are never any clouds in the sky, the amount of light and heat that can be radiated is unrestricted. The weather is typically sunny and dry, with very little chance of precipitation falling from the sky. Ground temperatures frequently rise above 76 °C (168.8 °F), and in Port Sudan, a sand temperature of 83.5 °C (182.3 °F) was measured. This is the rate of evaporation that is the fastest of any place on the planet.
In conclusion, the hottest places on Earth can be found worldwide. From Death Valley, California, to El Azizia, Libya, to Tirat Zvi, Israel, extreme heat is not limited to one area of the world or another. With the Earth’s climate changing and temperatures rising, the hottest spots will continue to provide insight into how drastically our planet is shifting.