A record-breaking heat wave sent U.S. temperatures skyrocketing this week, and with most days hovering around the triple digits on the East Coast and beyond, Americans have not been shy in expressing their dissatisfaction. The brutal weather, along with a spate of wildfires and storms, has rekindled the debate on climate change and prompted all manner of warnings about heat exhaustion and stroke.
Of course, it could be much worse. Although there's no set maximum temperature that humans can withstand (humidity level is the determining factor), heat indexes spiking 125 degrees Fahrenheit in Africa and Asia test the limits of what's livable -- and that's not even the worst of the worst. Here, we take a tour of the 10 places where the world's hottest temperatures have been recorded. So stop your whining; this week's heat is bad, but it's no Lut Desert.
1. Lut Desert, Iran -- 159 degrees F
In 2005, history's hottest surface temperature was recorded in a dry salt lake in eastern Iran's Lut Desert. The Lut Desert is too hot even for milk to spoil because bacteria can't grow in temperatures that high -- after researchers left sterilized milk uncovered and found it unspoiled, the Lut Desert was declared an abiotic zone. Described by Google Sightseeing as the "most deserty" of the world's deserts, Lut is completely surrounded by mountains and is also home to the world's tallest sand pyramid.
Above, sand pyramids are seen in Iran's Lut Desert.