The blistering heat that comes from a restaurant grill. That humid heat that comes after a summer shower that makes it practically uncomfortable to move. The inside of a car where you left the windows rolled up on a hot day because you were worried someone might swipe something which resulted in air that wafts out shimmering.with heat. Now, all those might feel like the hottest temperatures on when you’re experiencing them, but it turns out these are the real hottest ones. Or at least the hottest ones that have been recorded.
10. Hottest Temperature in the Antarctic
Temperature: 59° F / 15° C
At the time of writing, many people are deeply afraid that ocean levels are going to rise and that the oceans will become dangerously warmed due to vast amounts of ice melting in our southernmost continent. While an outlier like this is certainly not indicative one way or the other, it is curious to think that the hottest temperature ever recorded in the Antarctic was roughly forty years ago. This temperature recording was made at Vanda Station, a site owned and operated by New Zealand.
Toptenz initially intended to talk about how ironic it would be that the highest temperature came at a time that “global cooling” was a major worry among the scientific community. It turns out that that the cooling scare was just a myth and even back then the scientific consensus was more concerned with the danger of global warming. Just one of the innumerable lies and misconceptions related to the climate change debate.
9. Hottest Temperature in Australia
Temperature:123° F / 51.7° C
Date: January 2, 1960
Since the most famous region of Australia is probably it’s Outback area, many assume that Australia is mostly a vast desert wasteland. This is because it is either desert or semi-arid for 70% of it’s size. It’s also been experiencing its hottest summers on record for the past two years. But the hottest temperature point it ever reached was more than half a century ago, before the expression of global warming had even been coined, and thus there probably wasn’t much fuss raised about it. The temperature was recorded at the town of Oodnadatta in the province of South Australia. Oodnadatta is a town with a population of under three hundred people. Considering that the record states that the air can get hot enough there to kill bed bugs in seconds, how could the population there have ever grown so large?
8. Hottest Temperature in Europe
Temperature: 118 °F / 48 °C
Date: July 10, 1977
The continent of Europe is mostly temperate or a bit on the frigid side. There are no vast deserts in it, and even the more Southern nations have the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea to moderate their weather. But Athens, Greece once reached a scorching hot temperature the same year that there was said to have marked the start of a trend of Europe warming up. Greece is usually a pretty temperate nation, so this was pretty out of the ordinary. Less anomalous was the alleged, unconfirmable record set in Seville, Spain. There on August 4, 1881, it supposedly reached 122 °F/ 50 °C, which would have put Europe pretty much neck and neck with Australia.
7. Hottest Temperature in South America
Temperature: 120 °F / 48.88 °C
Date: Dec. 11, 1905
By contrast, we do think of South America as hot. The vast Amazon Rainforest would seem the probable candidate for the hottest spot. Or maybe you’d think it’s somewhere in the 41,000 square mile Atacama Desert which is purported to be the driest place on Earth, but the truth about that place is that the temperatures there are actually quite moderate. It turns out it actually was measured in Rivadavia, a town in northern Argentina. Unfortunately, the record for being the hottest spot in South America for one day has done little to increase the community’s tourism.
6. Hottest Temperature in Asia
Temperature: 128.7 °F / 53.7 °C
Date: May 26, 2010
Prior to researching this, we would have thought that probably the Gobi Desert would be where the hottest recorded temperature would have taken place in Asia. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t anywhere in the West Indies or anywhere tropical either. It wasn’t somewhere in the Iranian Desert. It was in Multan, the fifth largest city in Pakistan and a location prone to floods. Unlike most of the entries on this list, it’s record came fairly recently, and is known to have come during a heatwave that was killing dozens of people in.
Incidentally, Asia also has the hottest recorded natural surface temperature. The other regional entries on this list are referring to air temperature. The Iranian Lut Desert sand was measured in 2005 and found to be 159.3 °F / 70.7 °C. Since an egg needs to reach 158 °F to firm up, this definitely is a location where you could fry an egg on the ground.
5. Hottest Temperature in Africa
Temperature: 131 °F / 55 °C
Date: July 7, 1931
There’s a surprising amount of debate and fuss over what the highest recorded temperature is for this continent. Until April of 2013, it was held by El Aziza, a small town outside of the Libyan capital of Tripoli. That was all of 136 °F / 57.77 °C, which made it the highest recorded temperature in the world. But then after ninety years on top, the methods used for that reading were reviewed. It turned out the thermometer had been on the ground, so technically it was measuring surface temperature like in the Lut Desert in the previous entry instead of air temperature. After the meteorological community recovered from this scandal, Africa’s highest recorded temperature was downgraded to a record set in Kebili, Tunisia. Hopefully it won’t one day be found out that this claim is a fraud too!
4. Hottest Temperature in North American
Temperature: 134 °F / 56.6 °C
Date: July 10, 1913
Here it is: The hottest recorded weather in the world. Unexpectedly, it was in the United States of America instead of in Canada. In Death Valley, Nevada, no less. The area is notorious for being so far down that it’s below–sea–level and being possibly the driest area in North America. It’s amazing that anyone was ever dispatched to check the temperature back then as the weather is so bad it apparently regularly comes close to breaking the record again. Indeed, in 1913 at the time of the record, it was going through a wave where every day for ten days it was over 125 °F / 51.66 °C. That was back in the days where air–conditioning units were still basically experimental, so it’s hard to imagine how anyone back in the day could have coped with that.
3. Hottest Temperature in the Oceans
Temperature: 867° F / 464° C
All this talk of practically deadly heat makes me feel like going for a dip in the ocean. But then I learn that this is pretty measly compared to parts of the ocean. Admittedly these are small, remote areas of the ocean, but they’re there, so I won’t chance it.
At a depth of three kilometers in the Atlantic Ocean along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, scientists found volcanic vents producing temperatures in water that had been previously unobserved in science. Since nicknamed Two Boats and Sisters Peak, the water was found to be heating so much that it was more than hot enough to melt lead. The water is so heated and also under so much pressure that instead of evaporating, it seems that it releases essentially bubbles of hot water that is the verge of evaporating.
2. Hottest Recorded Natural Temperature
Temperature: 100,000,000° F / 55,555,537.77° C
Date: Circa 2000 b.c.
If you’re wondering where or how on Earth it ever could have reached that temperature, the answer is fortunately very far from Earth. Indeed, it’s very far from our solar system, even on a cosmic scale. The instance in question was a supernova that occurred roughly in, from the POV of a person on Earth, the roughly the same portion of the sky as the Gemini constellation. That puts it at roughly 5,000 light years from Earth. The supernova left behind the vast cloud of gas known as the Jellyfish Nebula. When it was occurring, the supernova produced temperatures 10,000 times those produced by our sun.
You would think that’s surely the hottest thing possible, right?
1. Hottest Recorded Man-Made Temperature
Temperature: 9,899,999,999,540.32° F /5,499,999,999,726.85° C
Date: August 13, 2012
Sure, this time of unimaginable heat was brief and in a tiny area, but the setting of records like this is definitely more of a sprint than a marathon. At the famous Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, lead ions (i.e., lead atoms where the number of protons and electrons didn’t match) were used in collision experiments. The resulting extreme heat came from a bit of subatomic matter called quark-gluon plasma, the stuff that was theorized to comprise the universe prior to the Big Bang. Most significantly, it was a case of mankind completely outdoing the highest concentration of heat the natural universe is currently known to have created.