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Death Valley may have had highest temperature ever. What is it like?

What was like it to be in such extreme heat?

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A person walks on a boardwalk at the salt flats at Badwater Basin, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Death Valley National Park, Calif.

A person walks on a boardwalk at the salt flats at Badwater Basin, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Death Valley National Park, Calif.

John Locher, Associated Press

Earlier this month, Furnace Creek in California’s Death Valley recovered a temperature of 130 degrees, which might have been the highest temperature recorded on Earth. So what was it like?

A number of reports have come out about what it was like to experience such extreme heat. Here are several of the takes:

  • “I think we all lose our patience with how hot it is. When you walk outside it’s like being hit in the face with a bunch of hairdryers.” — Brandi Stewart, who works at Death Valley National Park in California (BBC News)
  • “It feels so hot that one thing it took me a while to get used to is that you can’t actually feel the sweat on your skin because it evaporates so quickly. You might feel it on your clothes, but you don’t actually feel sweat on your skin because it dries so quickly.” — Stewart (BBC News)

  • “I’ve been to Iraq twice. If I can take Iraq, I can take Death Valley.” — Jason Heser, who lives in Furnace Creek (BBC News)
  • “We’d never, ever tell a visitor to go running in Death Valley in the summer. But if you run every day and your body is used to running at 119 degrees, then 120 isn’t much of a difference.” — Patrick Taylor, chief of interpretation and education for Death Valley National Park (Business Insider)
  • “We used to go out and play at night, and now we can’t go out and socialize as much as we used to. Maybe before, we’d have a barbecue; now it’s too hot to do that four months out of the year instead of one month.” (Business Insider) — Taylor

The World Meteorological Organization says it is still verifying the record to see if it was the highest ever recorded.