13.09.

1922: Al ‘Azizia: The World’s Hottest Place?

1922: Al ‘Azizia: The World’s Hottest Place?
Photo Credit To Pixabay

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 13 September 1922
  • The highest temperature ever recorded was allegedly measured on this day in 1922 in Libya (al 'Azizia), about 40 kilometers from the Libyan capital of Tripoli. At the time, Libya was a part of the Kingdom of Italy, and it was known as Italian North Africa (Italian: Africa Settentrionale Italiana).

The measured temperature was 57.8 °C, which was 1.1 °C higher than the second highest temperature ever recorded (Death Valley – 56.7 °C).

Many doubted that was the highest temperature ever recorded, and thought the meteorological station in al ‘Azizia didn’t work well or the measuring instruments were not used correctly.

The station was allegedly on black asphalt. The heating of this asphalt could artificially raise the temperature of the surrounding air. Some thought uncalibrated thermometers were used, and some suspected a writing error was made.

In 2012, it was concluded that the mentioned record was false, and that the temperature measured in Death Valley (California) is highest temperature ever recorded.

It is interesting to note that the highest annual average temperature in the world wasn’t recorded in California or Libya, but in Dallol – a settlement in the Dallol woreda of northern Ethiopia).

In its vicinity, some of the oldest fossils of human ancestors were found, such as the famous skeleton of a female Australopithecus afarensis, named Lucy. Therefore, some can conclude that the first people had lived in the world’s hottest place.

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