Taking Temperatures to the Extreme

Turn on the heat, would you?
Death Valley in wintertime

Humans like to complain… a lot. One of those things humans like to complain about most are temperature extremes. It’s the dead of winter, below freezing. We think of sitting out in the sun in eighty degree weather, sipping our iced tea. Then when it’s eighty degrees out we huddle in our air conditioned homes and dream of the wonderful cold of winter.

One thing we humans are even worse about is realizing that it could always be much, much worse. Take the heat, for example. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who would tell you that 100 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t so bad. Then again, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone alive the day it hit 134 degrees Fahrenheit in Furnace Creek, California.

That’s the hottest recorded temperature on earth, and it’s stood for a hundred years. Yes, it was in Death Valley. Why wouldn’t it be? From one extreme to another, let’s see how frigid things can get.

The coldest temperature was predictably recorded in Antarctica, and it was nearly the mirror opposite of the record high: -135.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Going out in 25 degree weather suddenly doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Well… okay, yeah it does. Man, I can’t wait for summer vacation in Death Valley!

On second thought, I can wait…

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