DestinationsAfricaAlgeriaTop 20 Hottest Places on Earth in History: Unveiling the Scorching Wonders
Top 20 Hottest Places on Earth in History: Unveiling the Scorching Wonders

Top 20 Hottest Places on Earth in History: Unveiling the Scorching Wonders

When it comes to extreme heat, our planet boasts some awe-inspiring locations that push the boundaries of human endurance. From blistering deserts to otherworldly landscapes, these hottest places on earth challenge both nature and our understanding of temperature. Buckle up as we explore these fiery wonders!

Sizzling Heat: Discover the Top 20 Hottest Places on Earth

Let’s explore the top 20 hottest countries and regions, where the relentless sun blazes year-round. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply curious about our planet’s fiery corners, these destinations will leave you feeling the burn!

1. The Dasht-e Lut Desert – Iran

– Highest recorded temperature: 70.7°C.

The Dasht-e Lut salt desert does not have any living creatures, including bacteria, because of its extreme temperatures.

One of the Kaluts of Dasht-e Lut Desert in Iran
One of the Kaluts of Dasht-e Lut Desert in Iran.
  • Also known as the Lut Desert, this vast salt desert is located in southeastern Iran. It’s one of the most inhospitable and surreal landscapes on Earth.
  • The Lut Desert holds the record for the hottest surface temperature ever recorded, reaching an astonishing 70.7°C.
  • Its unique features include massive sand dunes, salt flats, and the mesmerizing Gandom Beryan plateau, where the highest temperatures occur.
  • The extreme heat and arid conditions make it a challenging environment for any living creature.

2. Death Valley – USA

– Highest recorded temperature: 56.6°C.

Located at a depth of 96m below sea level, Death Valley is a National Park located between the US states of California and Nevada. Not only does it possess a unique landscape, but the climate here is also very unusual. In 1913, Furnace Creek, within Death Valley, held the North American record for the highest temperature ever recorded: 56.6°C.

Death Valley is one of the hottest places on earth
Death Valley is one of the hottest places on earth.
  • Situated in California, Death Valley is part of the Mojave Desert. It’s the lowest, driest, and hottest national park in the United States.
  • The valley features otherworldly landscapes, including the Badwater Basin, where salt flats stretch for miles, and the Artist’s Palette, with colorful mineral deposits.
  • Despite its harsh conditions, Death Valley attracts adventurers, photographers, and curious travelers.

3. Rub’ al-Khali Desert – Saudi Arabia

– Highest recorded temperature: 56.1°C.

Possessing an area spanning 1/3 of the Arabian Peninsula, the Rub’ al-Khali desert is considered the world’s largest uninterrupted sand desert. Temperatures in this hot and arid land peaked at 56.1°C.

the part of Rub' al-Khali desert in Dhofar region Oman
The part of Rub’ al-Khali desert in Dhofar region, Oman.
  • The Rub’ al-Khali is the largest continuous sand desert globally, covering parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Its name translates to the “Empty Quarter”, emphasizing its vastness and desolation.
  • Temperatures in the Rub’ al-Khali can exceed 51°C, and its shifting sand dunes create a mesmerizing landscape.
  • Ancient trade routes once crossed this desert, and it remains a place of mystery and allure.

4. Kebili – Tunisia

– Highest recorded temperature: 55°C.

Located in the Tunisian desert, Kebili is an arid land with the highest recorded temperature of 55°C in 1931. It is known that this city has about 28,000 people living and working despite the acrimonious heat.

Kebili is one of the hottest places on earth
Kebili is one of the hottest places on earth. Image credit to Robert Linsdell on Flickr.
  • Kebili is an oasis town in southern Tunisia, nestled within the Sahara Desert.
  • The town’s palm groves, ancient ksour (fortified granaries), and traditional architecture provide a stark contrast to the surrounding arid landscape.
  • Kebili is a gateway to the Chott el Jerid, a vast salt flat that shimmers under the intense sun.

5. Tombouctou (Timbuktu) – Mali

– Highest recorded temperature: ~54.5°C.

Timbuktu, an ancient city in the Sahara, faces intense heat. Its highest recorded temperature is around 54.5°C, making it one of the hottest inhabited places on Earth.

An empty street in Timbuktu Mali
An empty street in Timbuktu, Mali.
  • Timbuktu, often referred to as the “City of 333 Saints”, lies on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert.
  • It has a rich history as a center of trade, scholarship, and Islamic culture.
  • The city’s mud-brick architecture, ancient manuscripts, and vibrant markets continue to captivate travelers.

6. Tirat Tsvi – Israel

– Highest recorded temperature: 54°C.

Tirat Tsvi sits 220 meters below sea level and has experienced extreme temperatures. On June 21, 1942, it recorded the highest daytime temperature in Asia, reaching 54°C, although the validity of this measurement has been questioned.

The synagogue on Kibbutz Tirat Zvi Israel
The synagogue on Kibbutz Tirat Zvi, Israel.
  • Tirat Tsvi is a religious kibbutz in the Beit She’an Valley, situated ten kilometers south of the city of Beit She’an, Israel. It lies just west of the Jordan River and the Israel-Jordan border. Travelers can explore ancient ruins and the scenic Jordan River nearby.
  • The name “Tirat Tsvi” means “Zvi’s Fort.” It was named after Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer (1795-1874), a key figure in the Zionist Movement and a leader of Hovevei Zion. The term “tira” or “fort” refers to a two-story mud-brick structure purchased from the Arab landowner, Musa al-Alami.
  • Founded on June 30, 1937, during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, Tirat Tsvi was part of the Tower and Stockade settlement enterprise. Its founders came from Germany, Poland, and Romania. The kibbutz was attacked during the Arab revolt and later faced challenges during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

7. Mitribah – Kuwait

– Highest recorded temperature: 53.9°C.

In July 2016, Mitribah experienced temperatures of about 53.9°C, setting a record for the highest temperature in WMO’s Region II (most of Asia).

  • Mitribah is a weather station in northwest Kuwait. On July 21, 2016, it recorded the third-highest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth: 53.9°C.
  • By mid-century, the average temperature in Kuwait is predicted to increase by 1.80°C – 2.57°C compared to 2000-2009.
  • Visiting the place, you can discover Kuwait’s rich history and modern architecture.

8. Basra – Iraq

– Highest recorded temperature: 53.9°C.

Another scorching spot in the Middle East, Basra shares a similar temperature with Mitribah at 53.9°C. Even Basra consistently ranks as one of the hottest cities in Iraq, coming here, you can explore the city’s historic sites and vibrant markets.

view of Basra Iraq one of the hottest places on earth
A view of Basra, Iraq, one of the hottest places on earth.
  • Basra is the capital of Al-Baṣrah muḥāfaẓah (governorate) in southeastern Iraq. It lies on the western bank of the Shatt al-Arab, just south of the Egyptian border.
  • Basra was founded in 636 AD and played a crucial role during the Islamic Golden Age. It was damaged heavily during the 2003–2011 war.
  • In April 2017, the parliament recognized Basra as Iraq’s economic capital.

9. Turbat – Pakistan

– Highest recorded temperature: 53.7°C.

Turbat witnessed blistering heat exceeding 53.7°C in May 2017. Visit the region’s ancient forts and experience its unique culture.

Palm trees in Turbat Pakistan
Palm trees in Turbat, Pakistan.
  • Turbat is a city in southern Balochistan, Pakistan. It lies on the east bank of the Kech River (Balochi: کیچ کئور).
  • Turbat was the historical capital of the State of Makran. It is rich in antiquities, with ruins like Buhen—an Egyptian colony from the Middle Kingdom period.
  • Turbat is a marketplace for dates, and Jowar, barley, wheat, and rice are also grown. The town has a special place in Baloch folklore and literature as the home of Punnu, the hero of the romance of Sassi Punnun.

10. Wadi Halfa – Sudan

– Highest recorded temperature: 53°C.

The land of Wadi Halfa located on the border of Sudan and Egypt had the highest temperature recorded in 1967, reaching 53°C. This area often suffers from sandstorms, high temperatures, and very low rainfall.

People in the town of Wadi Halfa Sudan
People in the town of Wadi Halfa, Sudan.
  • Wadi Halfa is a town in extreme northern Sudan, situated on the east bank of the Nile River, just south of the Egyptian border.
  • The town and its environs are rich in antiquities, with the ruins of Buhen, an Egyptian colony, lying across the river. It was the historical capital of the State of Makran.

11. Al Jazeera Border Gate – UAE

– Highest recorded temperature: 52.1°C.

This location experienced a sweltering 52.1°C. While there, explore the UAE’s modern architecture and luxurious lifestyle.

  • The Al Jazeera Border Gate is a significant checkpoint located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It serves as a border crossing point between the UAE and neighboring countries.
  • In 2021, the UAE reopened its land, sea, and air borders with Qatar after a period of strained relations. This move aimed to restore diplomatic ties and facilitate travel and trade between the two nations.
  • The border gate plays a crucial role in promoting regional connectivity and cooperation.

12. Oodnadatta – Australia

– Highest recorded temperature: 50.7°C.

Located in a remote area of South Australia, Oodnadatta is titled “the driest and hottest town in the kangaroo country”. To demonstrate this “honor”, a plaque was placed in the town to emphasize the extreme heat and aridity characteristic of the area. In 1960, the town recorded a temperature of 50.7°C.

Oodnadatta in South Australia is one of the driest and hottest places on earth
Oodnadatta in South Australia is one of the driest and hottest places on earth.
  • Oodnadatta is a small, remote outback town and locality in South Australia. It is located approximately 1,043 kilometers (648 miles) north-northwest of Adelaide.
  • The town has a rich history, dating back about 200,000 years. It holds the earliest hard evidence of human habitation in Tunisia and North Africa.
  • Oodnadatta was a base for camel drivers during the construction of the railway and served as a government service center. Today, it remains a residential town for Aboriginal families.

13. Aoulef – Algeria

– Highest recorded temperature: ~50.6°C.

Aoulef, another Saharan town, experiences intense heat. Its highest recorded temperature is around 50.6°C.

Aoulef is a commune in Adrar Province Algeria
Aoulef is a commune in Adrar Province, Algeria.
  • Aoulef is a town and commune in Adrar Province, south-central Algeria. It lies at an elevation of 288 meters (945 feet) on the eastern side of an oasis.
  • The oasis is part of the Tidikelt region in the central Sahara. Aoulef produces high-quality dates, which are exported worldwide.
  • The town experiences a hot desert climate, with extremely hot summers and very warm winters. It is often quoted as one of the hottest spots globally.

14. Lake Havasu City – USA

– Highest recorded temperature: >50°C.

Located on the Colorado River, Lake Havasu City is famous for its blistering heat. It has recorded temperatures exceeding 50°C.

Two girls are paddleboarding in Lake Havasu City Arizona
Two girls are paddleboarding in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
  • Lake Havasu City is located in Mohave County, Arizona, along the Colorado River. It is known for the iconic London Bridge, which was relocated here from England in 1971.
  • The city was founded in 1964 by industrialist Robert P. McCulloch and has become a popular destination for tourists and retirees.
  • Lake Havasu City offers outdoor activities, water sports, and events throughout the year. It is also home to the Lake Havasu City Airport.

15. Wadi al Hayaa – Oman

– Highest recorded temperature: ~50°C.

This remote valley in Oman experiences extreme heat. Its highest recorded temperature is around 50°C.

Wadi al Hayaa Oman is one of the hottest places on earth
Wadi al Hayaa, Oman is one of the hottest places on earth.
  • Wadi Al Hayaa is a remarkable feature of Oman’s desert landscape. Wadis are valleys or ravines that remain dry until the rainy season, similar to desert “washes” found in the United States.
  • These water-filled valleys can be spectacularly picturesque, containing beautiful pools of water when the surrounding environment is otherwise dry and unforgiving.
  • Wadi Al Hayaa impresses with its mix of natural water pools, ancient forts, and geological surprises, such as mountains of ophiolite rock.
  • The city of Ghadames in Libya, a.k.a the “Pearl of the Desert”, stands in an oasis. It is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities and an outstanding example of a traditional settlement.

16. Turpan City – China

– Highest recorded temperature: 49.6°C.

Turpan City, located in the northwest of Xinjiang province, China, has the highest recorded temperature of 49.6°C. The temperature in this oasis is even higher because it is located in a low-lying area below sea level.

a view of Turpan in Xinjiang province China
A view of Turpan in Xinjiang province, China.
  • Turpan is an oasis city located in the Xinjiang region of northwest China. It is historically important as a trading post on the trans-Saharan caravan route and as a center of Islamic culture.
  • The city lies in an olive-shaped intermountain basin in the east of the Tianshan Mountains. It is surrounded by mountains on all sides.
  • Turpan is renowned for the Flaming Mountain, which is the hottest place in China. In summer, the surface temperature can soar to 89°C.
  • Tourists can explore the Karez system, a unique water intake project in Xinjiang, and witness ancient city ruins in the desert.

17. Dallol – Ethiopia

– Highest recorded temperature: 49°C.

Dallol is a locality in the Dallol woreda of northern Ethiopia, situated in the Afar Depression within the Afar Region. Dallol currently holds the official record for the highest average temperature ever recorded in an inhabited location on Earth. Therefore, it’s one of the harshest places to live on earth. Between 1960 and 1966, the average annual temperature in Dallol was a blistering 35 °C.

Dallol in Danakil Desert Ethiopia
Dallol in Danakil Desert, Ethiopia.
  • The highest temperature ever recorded there reached an astonishing 49 °C. This scorching heat makes Dallol one of the hottest places on our planet.
  • Dallol lies within the Danakil Desert, a region known for its surreal landscapes. It features colorful mineral deposits, salt flats, and active hydrothermal systems. The area is home to numerous springs, terrace systems, and fumaroles, contributing to its otherworldly appearance.
  • Despite its harsh conditions, Dallol remains a hub for salt collection. Camel caravans transport salt from the region to nearby villages. Historically, a railway connected Dallol to the port of Mersa Fatma in Eritrea, facilitating potash production. However, production ceased after World War I due to supplies from other countries.
  • Dallol is often described as a ghost town because of its abandoned buildings. These structures were constructed using salt blocks, showcasing the resourcefulness of past inhabitants. While some buildings still stand, Dallol’s history includes a dismantled railway and a fascinating legacy.

18. Badlands National Park – USA

– Highest recorded temperature: 49°C.

Known for its rugged terrain and extreme temperatures, Badlands National Park experiences sweltering heat during the summer months. The highest recorded temperature here is around 49°C.

Badlands National Park in South Dakota is one of the hottest places on earth
Badlands National Park in South Dakota is one of the hottest places on earth.
  • Badlands National Park, located in southwestern South Dakota, protects 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes and pinnacles.
  • These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Ancient horses and rhinos once roamed here.
  • The park’s rugged beauty draws visitors from around the world, and it is home to bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets.
  • The Badlands Wilderness, within the park, covers an area of 100.2 square miles and is a further designation of the national park.

19. Town of Ghadames – Libya

– Highest recorded temperature: >48°C.

Nestled in the Libyan desert, the town of Ghadames is a beautiful oasis with a long history and unique architecture, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1986. This city is one of the hottest settlements on the planet with temperatures often above 48°C.

  • Ghadames, also known as ‘the pearl of the desert’, stands in an oasis near the Libyan border with Algeria and Tunisia.
  • The old town of Ghadames is one of the best-preserved Berber towns in Libya and was under UNESCO protection.
  • It is a tranquil city with covered streets that are both dark and cool even during summer. The underground architecture provides protection from the heat of the Sahara.

20. Araouane – Mali

– Highest recorded temperature: 44°C.

Araouane is a small village in the Malian part of the Sahara Desert. Also known as Arawan, the village lies approximately 243 km north of Timbuktu.

Araouane’s environment is extremely challenging. The village is surrounded by barren land, devoid of vegetation. The average maximum temperature in nearby Timbuktu soars to 43–44 °C during the hottest month of May.

Araouane City is one of the hottest inhabited places on earth
Araouane City is one of the hottest inhabited places on earth.
  • Historically, Araouane served as an entrepôt in the trans-Saharan trade. It played a crucial role in facilitating trade routes across the vast desert. Merchants from Timbuktu used Araouane as a storage depot for their goods, which were then prepared for resale to northern Saharan towns like Tuat and Ghadames.
  • Wood is scarce, and even cooking fuel consists of camel dung collected by slaves. Wells, about sixty paces deep, provide brackish and warm water, but it is not very wholesome.
  • Some of the goods passing through Araouane bypassed Timbuktu. For instance, Salt was taken to the town of Sansanding and the gold trade also passed directly from Sansanding to Araouane.
  • The French explorer René Caillié journeyed through Araouane in 1828 during his expedition from Timbuktu across the Sahara Desert to Morocco. Caillié described Araouane as an entrepreneurial hub for the salt trade and a place where caravans stopped before continuing their journey toward Taoudenni.

Embracing the Inferno: Discover, Explore, and Survive

As we traverse these scorching landscapes, let’s marvel at the resilience of life and the raw power of our planet. Whether you’re an adventurer, a curious traveler, or a climate enthusiast, these hottest places on earth beckon you to experience their fiery embrace.

The Broad Life introduces to you great, inspirational books for your wanderlust. They aren’t just simple travel, each book recounts the author’s journey to discover and learn many awesome things from new civilizations and places.


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Khoi Nguyen builds The Broad Life with a desire to inspire people go exploring the world and live a more interesting, experience, and adventurous life. This blog shares the stories, pictures, and experiences at destinations where he has traveled to.

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