Top 17 World’s Hottest and Driest Places
Even though there have been some significant climate changes in certain parts of the globe as of late, there are numerous places on Earth where the weather has never been anything but scorching hot and terribly dry. However, since humankind is well known to adapt to unwelcoming climate conditions, we imagine that the inhabitants of the world’s hottest and driest places are quite used to the close embrace of the sun. As you would expect, these arid spots can be found in close proximity to deserts such as the Sahara or the Mojave Desert, but some of them are also located in countries such as China, USA, Israel or Iran. Here is our top 17 of the hottest and driest places on the globe:
17. Dallol, Ethiopia
The town of Dallol in Ethiopia is currently uninhabited, and it’s not hard to understand why once you take a look at the average temperatures recorded in this place between 1960 and 1966: 96 degrees F. Furthermore, this place is also one of the most remote ones on earth, since it has no roads of its own or any form of regular transportation except for a series of camel caravans that go back and forth as they collect salt from the nearby deposits. To make things even worse, Dallol is flanked by the active Dallol volcano, which last erupted in 1926.
16. Wadi Halfa, Sudan
The city of Wadi Halfa can be found in the northern parts of Sudan, in close proximity to Lake Nubia. With a highest recorded temperature of 127 degrees F, this city is undoubtedly one of the hottest in the world, and since this place never sees a drop of rain, the fact that it lies close to a body of water is crucial for the survival of its inhabitants. The economy of the city is driven by agriculture and fishing, especially since the Chinese decided to build a fish processing plant nearby.
15. Aghajari, Iran
As the capital of the Central District in Aghajari County, Iran, most would expect Aghajari to be a very important and thriving part of the country, and even though this was true at some point in the city’s history, the Iran – Iraq war eventually took its toll on its population and significance. Not that the city was ever a dreamy place to call home anyway, since its highest recorded temperature is no less than 128 degrees F.
14. Mohenjo-daro, Pakistan
Pakistan’s Mohenjo-daro is a very important archeological site that dates back to 2600 BC, which is why it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Aside from its highly important historical significance, this impressive yet threatened site is also one of the world’s hottest and driest places, since the highest recorded temperature at Mohenjo-daro was a blistering 128.3 degrees F.
13. Ahvaz, Iran
The city of Ahvaz can be found in western Iran, and it is the capital of Khuzestan Province. Even though it is the hottest place on earth with a recorded max temperature of 128.3 degrees F, this place actually boasts a population of approximately 1.5 million people. Moreover, due to its massive industry and frequent dust and sandstorms, Ahvaz was officially ranked the world’s most air-polluted city by the World Health Organization in 2011.
12. Sulaibya, Kuwait
Sulaibya is a town that can be found in the Al Jahra Governorate in Kuwait. As one of the hottest places on Earth, this sun-parched town flaunts an official highest recorded temperature of 128.5 degrees F, which means that it isn’t a particularly pleasant place to visit. Moreover, the town is infamous for its frequent dust storms, which can be quite bothersome for people who aren’t particularly used to them. However, if you are looking for some (extreme) sunbathing, there’s no reason to cross this town off your travel list.
11. Tirat Zvi, Israel
Tirat Zvi is a religious collective community that can be found in Beit She’an Valley in Israel, in close proximity to the Jordan River. The community was founded on June 30, 1937 and it mostly comprised Jews from Germany, Romania and Poland. Also known as a religious “kibbutz”, Tirat Zvi sits 721 feet below sea level, and its highest recorded temperature was 128.7 degrees F on June 21, 1942, which is also the highest recorded temperature in Asia.
10. Araouane, Mali
The small village called Araouane can be found in the Malian Sahara, which probably tells you all you need to known about its climate. With a highest recorded temperature of 130.1 degrees F, this village houses a small community of just 300 inhabitants. Even though it is quite small, the village has a great religious significance, since it contains no less than 3 mosques called the Sidi Ahmed Ag Ada mosque, the Friday mosque and the Kunta mosque.
9. Timbuktu, Mali
The Southern part of the Sahara Desert is home to the city of Timbuktu in Mali, which also happens to be one of the hottest places on Earth. With an average daily temperature of 104 degrees F during its hottest months, Timbuktu might seem like an inhospitable place to live, but this is actually a very important settlement from an economical point of view, which is why it flaunts a population of over 50,000 people. The history of the city is a long, interesting and sad one, since its population has suffered through numerous wars over the years. The highest recorded temperature in Timbuktu was no less than 130.1 degrees F at one point.
8. Kebili, Tunisia
The capital of the Kebili Governorate in Tunisia is called Kebili, and it can be found in the southern part of the country. With a maximum recorded temperature of 131 degrees F, this city is definitely one of the hottest in the world. Consequently, the economy of Kebili is centered on the cultivation of date palms, which are known to thrive in arid conditions. Kebili is also quite significant from a historic point of view, since it represents the place where archaeologists found the first concrete evidence regarding the human habitation of Tunisia.
7. Ghadames, Libya
The oasis town of Ghadames can be found in the Nalut District of northwestern Libya. As one of the hottest places in the world, the town boasts a maximum recorded temperature of 131 degrees F, while its total population is somewhere at around 10,000, most of it consisting of Berber people. The old part of the town of Ghadames is officially a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is encircled by a large wall.
6. Rub’ al Khali, Arabian Peninsula
The Rub’ al Khali desert is definitely the largest sand desert on the planet, since it covers no less than 250,000 square miles. The highest temperatures recorded at this inhospitable place were 133 degrees F, not to mention the fact that the annual rainfall is less than 1.4 inches. As expected, this is not an easy desert to traverse on foot, which is why this endeavor wasn’t even attempted until 2013, when a South African team finally managed to complete the challenge.
5. Al’Aziziya, Libya
The capital of the Jafara district in Libya is called Al’Aziziya, and it represents a major trade hub within the Sahel Jeffare plateau. With an elevation of 390 feet above sea level, the city is actually surrounded by controversy when it comes to its climate, since it was known to hold the record for the highest recorded temperature on Earth for quite some time: 136.4 degrees F. Nonetheless, the temperature readings were the subject of much debate and were eventually deemed invalid by the World Meteorological Organization.
4. Death Valley, USA
While the temperatures recorded at Al’Aziziya were deemed invalid in 2012, the readings taken at the Death Valley of the Mojave Desert were definitely accurate. As the lowest and driest area in the country, Death Valley boasts a highest recorded temperature of 134 degrees since July 10, 1913. The valley was named as such during the California Gold Rush in 1849, even though only one recorded death ever occurred in the area at the time.
3. Flaming Mountains, China
As you can probably tell by their name, the Flaming Mountains are nothing if not hot. Found in the Tian Shan Mountain range of Xinjiang, China, these mountains were named after a series of eroded gullies that resemble flames. The highest recorded temperature at the Flaming Mountains is 152.2 degrees F, but since there is no weather station nearby to take the readings, they had to be recorded using a NASA satellite equipped with a special device called MODIS.
2. Australia’s Badlands
It is common knowledge that Australia is barren at its core, but few places on the continent come close to the famous Badlands. During the El Niño-Southern Oscillation in 2002, Australia’s Badlands were scorching hot, a fact proven by a NASA satellite equipped with a MODIS device that captured a scorching temperature of 156.7 degrees Fahrenheit. As with China’s Flaming Mountains, the Badlands in Australia are simply too remote to justify the building and maintenance costs of a proper weather station, which is why the readings had to be done from outer space.
1. Dasht-e Lut, Iran
Also known as the Lut Desert, the Dasht-e Lut in Iran is a very large salt desert that is officially known as the hottest place on Earth. As you can imagine, maintaining a weather station there is basically impossible, which is where NASA’s satellite equipped with a moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer came into play. Over a 7-year period, the satellite was used to monitor the temperatures in this scorching place, and in 2005, the MODIS device recorded a temperature of 159.3 degrees F, which is the highest reading ever recorded on Earth.