There’s nothing quite like a summer vacation in a foreign location.
Choosing the destination is often the trickiest part though – will you opt for the Caribbean Islands or maybe even the Philippines? As long as there’s sunshine and warm temperatures, right?
But just how much heat can you handle? No, we’re not talking about tropical destinations with temperatures in the 80s or 90s. We mean destinations that are notorious for their heat, with temperatures regularly soaring past 100 degrees Fahrenheit?
From jaw-dropping desert landscapes to bustling cities, here’s our guide to the hottest places on earth. Some of them will probably surprise you.
10 Of The Hottest Places On Earth
1. Death Valley, California
Death Valley in California currently holds the world record for the hottest temperature in the world. While temperatures in the outlandish region regularly soar to extremes, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Weather & Climate Extremes Archive (WMO), it was in 1913 when Death Valley reached its record-breaking 134 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists have debated the credibility of historic temperature readings throughout the years, but Death Valley reportedly reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit this summer. So technically, Death Valley is the world’s hottest place.
2. Kebili, Tunisia
Holding the record for the highest temperature recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere – soaring to 131 degrees in July 1931 – Kebili is one of the oldest oases in Tunisia and North Africa. This desert oasis is not only a hot place but among the oldest inhabited places in Africa, meaning humans are believed to have lived here since the dawn of humankind. The earliest hard evidence of human habitation in Tunisia dates back about 200,000 years.
3. Oodnadatta, Australia
The small, remote outback town in the Australian state of South Australia, Oodnadatta, currently holds the highest temperature recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, as stated by the WMO – reaching a sizzling 123 degrees Fahrenheit in January of 1960. But the small town is still hot as hell, with a recent heatwave seeing Oodnadatta reach 117 degrees Fahrenheit. Locals reportedly work during the early mornings and evenings to shelter themselves from the severe heat during the day. Oodnadatta is undoubtedly one of the hottest places on earth.
4. Lut Desert, Iran
The Lut Desert in Iran looks like another planet with its dramatic plateaus and endless sand dunes, and according to satellite imaging recorded by NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), is definitively one of the world’s hottest places. Giving new meaning to the term “hotspot” with a recorded temp of almost 160 degrees Fahrenheit. MODIS records land skin temperatures, essentially the heating of the land’s surface instead of the air temperature recorded by WMO. One of the hottest places within the region is called Gandom Beryan, Persian for “toasted wheat” – it’s thought that wheat was left out and roasted by the sun within a few days.
5. Mitribah, Kuwait
With the highest temperature ever recorded in Asia, as well as the WMO’s Region II – at 129 degrees Fahrenheit in July 2016 – Mitribah in Kuwait is not only one of the globe’s hottest places but is currently experiencing conditions of Biblical extremes and has been plagued by severe dust storms and swarms of locusts. The oil-rich region, as well as the rest of the Arabian Peninsula, experienced their hottest March to date – with three neighboring countries all breaking their March temperature readings in a single day
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6. Turbat, Pakistan
Along with Kuwait, Turbat in Pakistan reached record-breaking temperatures in Asia when they experienced a blistering heat that soared to 129 degrees Fahrenheit in May 2017. Located on the Kech River, Turbat is one of the hottest cities in South Asia, and according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Weather & Climate Extremes Archive, is considered the fourth hottest place in the world.
7. Flaming Mountains, China
When it comes to hottest places on earth, a name like “Flaming Mountains” is undoubtedly a threatening one. You can’t call a mountain range this unless they live up to the name. Situated in the Taklamakan Desert, which routinely breaks 122 degrees Fahrenheit, the location passed a scorching 150 degrees F (land skin temperature) according to NASA. With so much heat radiating from the desolate rocks, the temperature can feel much hotter. In days of old, locals would cope by wearing silk or bamboo clothing. Today, bamboo is still widely used to insulate from extreme heat, as is drinking a cup of mung bean juice – which is believed to cool your core temperature.
8. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is likely not the first place to come to mind when thinking “hottest places on earth”, but the heat of Bangkok is an unrelenting one. While the Thai city never sets any temperature records, it is so consistently warm throughout the year that Bangkok is one of the hottest inhabited places on earth. Even at night, there is very little relief from the deceptive heat. Perhaps one of the reasons the locals prefer their food so spicy is to distract them from the hot weather.
9. Dallol, Ethiopia
Another location known for its year-round heat, Dallol in Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression, is also among one of the hottest inhabited places on earth. The landscape is fraught with earthquakes, volcanoes, geysers, and salt canyons and yet remains full of life and astonishingly beautiful. With an average year-round temp of 94 degrees F, a dismal 100 to 200mm of rainfall annually, and situated at 410ft (125m) below sea level, the Danakil Depression is one of the hottest, driest, and lowest places on the planet.
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10. El Azizia, Libya
Until it was disproved in 2012, this small town in north-western Libya was believed to have the hottest temperature recorded on earth for many years. Regardless, the Libyan heat is extreme enough for residents to do much of their living at night. Locals take on chores and visit the market in the early hours when the temperatures are more tolerable outside. With its golden sand dunes and occasional oases, the El Azizia region is your quintessential scorching desert with the temperatures to match.
From the places closest to the earth’s core to flaming mountain ranges with soaring temps, you’d need to be quite the travel junkie to add some of these hot places to your travel bucket list. Are you brave enough to give one of the hottest places on earth a visit?