This Is The Hottest Place On Earth

Our wondrous planet abounds with extremities in temperature. If you're like most people, you probably assume that Death Valley — with its ominous name, boiling hot atmosphere, and location being smack in the middle of a state that is literally on fire — is likely the hottest place on Earth. While NPR reports that Death Valley previously held this record, new evidence has emerged proving there's a lot more bubbling on Earth's surface than scientists originally projected.

In regard to overall surface temperature, there are not one but two locations beating out Death Valley for the hottest place on Earth. These hot-to-trot locales are situated in remote regions where temperatures used to be difficult to gauge.

According to Science, MODIS, a sophisticated instrument NASA has tasked with measuring pretty much everything across the globe, from phytoplankton abundance to infrared heat, identified both locations as reaching record highs of about 177 degrees Fahrenheit. Interestingly enough, we have learned that one of the hottest places on the planet is right at the US-Mexico border, on a stretch of land known as the Sonoran Desert. The other furnace-worthy hotspot is situated in a remote region of Iran along the hot sands of the Lut Desert. Both of these places are neck-and-neck for hottest place on the planet, but one winner has officially been announced.

Iran's Lut Desert is now considered the hottest place on Earth

As you might have imagined, this was quite a heated debate for some time. Science reports that in 2011, ecologist David Mildrexler confirmed that the Lut Desert's subtropical climate made it possible for temperatures to soar to 177.4 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a jaw-dropping 47 degrees higher than Death Valley's current record-setting temp of 130 degrees (via Yale Climate Connections).

This alone would have been enough to tip the scales toward Iran. But then, in a startling twist, the Sonoran Desert set the precise same record temperature the following year. In the end, the Lut Desert was still declared the hottest place on Earth. This title is due in large part to the fact that this region produces sweltering heat consistently over a relatively vast open space. While this is a hot one for the record books, such extreme temperatures can create a hostile environment for desert animals who rely on shade and water to endure.