10 Hottest Places on Earth (And One Honorable Mention)
Extreme weather is becoming more prevalent, and the Earth is getting hotter. Not everywhere is inhabited, but there could be a time, perhaps soon, when some places are too hot for humans.
These are the hottest places on Earth. If you travel to them, take the necessary precautions, because they are not for the faint of heart.
10. Bandar-e Mahshahr, Iran
Highest recorded temperature: 120.2 degrees
Bottom line: As they say, "it's not the heat, it's the humidity." And Bandar-e Mahshahr has it in spades.
This region of southern Iran is close to the Persian Gulf and has not only high temperatures, but also high levels of precipitation. Additionally, the city is surrounded by marshlands, which make the temperature even higher.
On July 31, 2015, the city's heat index (that is, what the temperature feels like to the human body) was measured at a whopping 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It is the second-highest heat index ever recorded.
Note: All temperatures are in Fahrenheit.
9. Dallol, Ethiopia
Highest recorded temperature: 121 degrees
Bottom line: Some people have called the Danakil Depression in Dallol, Ethiopia, the "gateway to hell." This scorchingly hot, alien-like landscape is located near the equator.
Its location and low elevation are, of course, factors, but this low-lying region with high atmospheric pressure leads to more trapped heat.
Here, temperatures, often in the three digits, are exacerbated by the area's hot springs and geothermal activity, which release heat and steam.
8. Basra, Iraq
Highest recorded temperature: 123.8 degrees
Bottom line: Another place that sees frequent triple-digit temperatures is the city of Basra, with a population of 1.3 million.
Located in southern Iraq, close to the Persian Gulf, Basra is surrounded by vast deserts that trap and amplify heat, making the temperature even higher.
The war-torn country has seen its infrastructure depleted, and it continues to struggle with droughts and frequent sandstorms, as well as chronic power outages, particularly in summer.
7. Wadi Halfa, Sudan
Highest recorded temperature: 127 degrees
Bottom line: Located in the Sahara Desert near Sudan's border with Egypt, Wadi Halfa is one of the hottest regions in the world, and is known for its dry air, scorching heat, and lack of water.
The area has an estimated population of over 15,000 and attracts tourists and adventurers alike, as it functions primarily as a crossroads for reaching Cairo.
While locals are aware of how hot it gets, even they are susceptible to danger. In 2015, 15 people died in a heatwave that lasted over two days.
6. Turbat, Pakistan
Highest recorded temperature: 128.7 degrees
Bottom line: As climate change becomes more of a factor, living in places like Turbat, Pakistan, will become increasingly difficult. Located in the Balochistan Desert, the region already sees hot temperatures and low precipitation and is virtually absent of cloud cover.
The city, located in the southwestern part of the country, has a population of over 100,000 people and sees temperatures of over 100 degrees for several weeks during the summer months.
5. Mitribah, Kuwait
Highest recorded temperature: 129 degrees
Bottom line: Mitribah, Kuwait, is a small weather station in northwest Kuwait. It is notable for recording a temperature of 129 degrees on July 21, 2016.
Due to its location near the equator, desert climate, and limited cloud cover, Kuwait often sees high temperatures throughout the year.
Due to climate change, the country overall is only getting hotter. Mitribah often records temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit that last over several consecutive days for months.
3. Dasht-e Lut, Iran (Tie)
Highest recorded temperature: 129.2 degrees
Bottom line: Dasht-e Lut (aka, the Lut Desert) is the world's third-largest desert and is located in Kerman and Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran. This massive salt desert is one of the driest places on Earth and one of the hottest.
The land is flat and barren, and the Lut has not only one of the highest recorded temperatures. It also has one the highest surface-level temperatures, at 159.3 degrees in 2005.
3. Tirat Zvi, Israel (Tie)
Highest recorded temperature: 129.2 degrees
Bottom line: While it looks pretty green and temperate, Tirat Zvi gets hot. This kibbutz (a community in Israel based on agriculture) is in the northern Jordan Valley, known for its warm and arid climate. The property is in a low-lying area surrounded by hills, which trap heat.
Add to that the kibbutz's closeness to the Dead Sea — the lowest point on the earth's surface —and you can expect to swelter.
2. Kebili, Tunisia
Highest recorded temperature: 131 degrees
Bottom line: Kebili, Tunisia, is characterized by its desert climate, nomadic culture, limited access to modern amenities, and extreme heat that reaches more than 100 degrees for several weeks during the summer.
However, there are many beautiful oasis towns in the area, and the locals who have acclimated to the extreme temperatures know what to do to survive.
Due to its unique beauty, tourists often visit here, but everyone should be aware of taking precautions against the extreme heat.
1. Furnace Creek Ranch, California
Highest recorded temperature: 134 degrees
Bottom line: Outside of the Furnace Creek Visitors Center, you will find a giant digital thermometer. It is a favorite photo prop for social media influencers from all over the world who travel to the area.
Furnace Creek does not disappoint when it comes to high temps, which are frequent here. It is located in a desert valley surrounded by mountains, which trap hot air, exacerbating temperatures. It is also one of the lowest points on Earth at just 190 feet above sea level.
Here, it is not uncommon to experience 120 degree temperatures during the summer months.
Honorable Mention: Flaming Mountains, China
Highest recorded temperature: 152.2 (surface reading/unverified)
Bottom line: China's Flaming Mountains are named more because of how they appear. They are red clay and look like they're burning under the sun, as hot air curls up around them. But the temperatures in this area are extreme enough to warrant the moniker.
The mountains are located about an hour north of Turpan (a city of about 600,000) in the Turpan Depression. The range is one of the hottest places on the planet, if not the hottest place. The ground surface temperature was estimated via satellite to be 152.2 degrees in 2008.