What It's Like to Work in the Hottest Place on Earth
AP photographer visits Death Valley during 128-degree heat
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2013 11:28 AM CDT
Eric Varone, right, takes a picture as Floriane Golay, of Switzerland watches, in Death Valley National Park, June 28, 2013.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

(Newser) – Photographer Chris Carlson worked in the hottest place on Earth on Friday: Death Valley in California, where temperatures soared to 128 degrees while he attempted to snap photos. Carlson is no stranger to the area, he writes for the AP, but he still made some rookie mistakes: "I forgot my oven mitts, the desert driving trick I learned as a teenager after burning my hands too many times on the steering wheel. And my rental car is black, adding several degrees to the outside temperature." The sun is actually too hot for flip-flops, so he has to switch to shoes, while his cellphone "is so hot that it burns my ear when I try to take a call from my wife."

Despite the extreme heat, this is actually Death Valley's busiest tourist season, Carlson reports. "Tourists, mostly from Europe, come to experience extreme heat," he writes, "or they just didn't know what they were getting into." But those out on Friday rarely emerged from their cars, and those who did only ran out to snap photos before high-tailing it back to their AC-cooled vehicles. Even a pro photographer like Carlson eventually had to surrender to the sun. "The camera around my neck gets so hot it stops working," he writes. "An error message flashes a warning at me." Click to read Carlson's full account at the AP, and feel your body temperature increase.

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Showing 3 of 24 comments
DarkFrancis
Jul 5, 2013 1:57 PM CDT
Because most of Australia is so remote there are no official weather stations to record actual temps, but many station (ranch) owners have recorded consistent temps in QLD, NT, WA & SA of up to 150F. Last summer the Bureau of Meteorology had to add a new colour to its heat scale colour chart because temps are starting to go nuts out there. I'd wager that pound for pound, huge chunks of Australia are the hottest places on Earth.
NorCalHal
Jul 2, 2013 10:27 PM CDT
116 degrees in NorCal today, according to my car thermometer..... Hard to work (or do anything) in these temps... A/C running night & day..
Libris_Fidelis
Jul 2, 2013 6:03 PM CDT
There is SO MUCH crap about Death Valley! It is much hotter in the northern tip of the Sonora Desert from El Centro California to Phoenix Arizona than it is in Death Valley!!!! Temperatures of 138 in the shade are not uncommon in that zone. You want to know what an atmospheric blast furnace is? Be lying on a blanket on the grass under the 100 year old oak trees in the park in Henderson Nevada when the wind blows over Railroad Pass from Searchlight and Laughlin during the summer and fall!