What a scorcher it is out there today… somewhere! You may be sitting in an igloo as you read this, or at the very least gawping at your phone whilst standing next to an open fridge, and dreaming of a bit of warmth. Here are a few places where the national anthem is Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” (I don’t know why he spells it like that either).
Death Valley, California
The name says it all. With temperatures peaking at 56.7C, this place might sound terrifying, but it’s also where land speed record attempts have been made – the flatness of this huge area lends itself very well to cars careening around at over 600mph. At night during winter, Death Valley drops below freezing, helpfully enabling it to continue the “death” theme 24 hours a day. The valley is part of the Mojave Desert, much of which is quite spectacular and worth a visit (not least Las Vegas), so maybe just take a peek at Death Valley from a pair of binoculars while you’re in the area.
El Azizia and Ghadames, Libya
Libya, in northern Africa, has a few spots where the sun is rather unforgiving, but people still manage to live in them and have done for centuries. The oasis town of Ghadames is in fact a UNESCO World Heritage site, and has been withstanding the 55C heat for aeons. Meanwhile, the city of El Azizia held the record of world’s hottest place for around 90 years. Rest assured, heat-seekers, you don’t need to stay in the north west of the country – you can get a great tan throughout most of Libya.
One of the most famous towns in the world is also one of the hottest. People have been putting up with temperatures of around 54C for at least over nine centuries now, particularly during Timbuktu’s heyday as western Africa’s major trading point and home of scholarly learning. The iconic mud buildings of Timbuktu help inhabitants keep cool and provide enigmatic scenery for visitors (while reminding others of scenes from Star Wars).
Featured image: Badwater, Death Valley, California by John Fowler