The Dallol Depression (also known as the Danakil Depression) in Ethiopia is considered the hottest place on Earth in terms of average year-round temperatures. A scorching desert that’s 100 metres below sea level, this arid destination is dotted with yellow sulfur fields and regularly experiences violent earth tremors. Air temperatures here can reach 63 degrees celsius.
The coldest place on Earth
Antarctica holds many of our planet’s climate records, but the most obvious one is its temperature. Particularly cold is a high ridge on the East Antarctic plateau—temperatures here can drop to a frighteningly chilly minus 92 degrees celsius.
The wettest place on Earth
Getting caught in the rain is a more-than-regular occurrence for the village of Mawsynram in Meghalaya, India. Annual rainfall here is around 467 inches (nearly 12 metres). Outdoor workers rely on full-body umbrellas to stay dry. But the region’s rain-soaked valleys are home to a far more fascinating spectacle—as wooden structures are quick to rot in this soggy climate, the locals use rubber trees as living bridges, trained to grow over rivers and provide a safe crossing.
The driest place on Earth
If you thought the driest place on Earth would be a desert, you’d be right. This ain’t your typical desert though: Antarctica makes the record book once again with its aptly-named Dry Valleys. There’s been no rain here for two million years. The reason? Antarctica’s Katabatic winds, which naturally pull all moisture in the air away from the valleys.
The most polluted place on Earth
Lake Karachay in Russia is a desolate ruin of a place, used for years as a nuclear dumping site by the Soviet Union. The sediment of the lake bed here is thought to be composed entirely of radioactive waste deposits. A single hour of exposure would be enough to kill a human.
The windiest place on Earth
You guessed it, Antarctica also takes the top spot when it comes to windiest climes. Cape Denison in East Antarctica was the site of the windiest hour ever in 1913. Even average breezes here are gale force when measured on the Beaufort scale of wind speeds.
The place with the most tornadoes
Alright, so Antarctica’s impressed us all with its consistently nippy climate, but where’s the best place to find a tornado? The US is the undisputed home of these atmospheric storms, especially in the string of south-eastern states known as Tornado Alley. As many as 207 tornadoes can form here in a single 24 hour period. The most dizzying tornado of all was measured in Oklahoma: it had a considerably blustery 302mph wind speed.
The place with the most earthquakes
Of all the countries in the world, Japan is considered the one with the most earthquakes. A dense seismic network is located along the ‘ring of fire’, right where Japan is found. This means a large number of ground shaking incidents, as well as a higher-than-average number of volcanoes and hot springs scattered throughout the country.
The most humid place on Earth
You’ll find Earth’s most humid climates close to the equator, generally in coastal areas. Locations in South and Southeast Asia such as Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Singapore are the prime suspects for most humid place on Earth, with sauna-like climates caused by overcast weather and proximity to water.
The stormiest place on Earth
On average, thunderstorms take place 242 days a year in Kampala, Uganda. The storms usually hover over Lake Victoria rather than hitting the city. The lake itself actually causes the storms: moist lower layers of air over it develop into cumulonimbus clouds, producing powerful lightning and roars of thunder that can be heard from miles away.
It’s easy to have a moan about the rain and wind when it’s all wintery outside, but the truth is that most of us have it pretty easy when compared to the world’s most extreme climates. From sweltering heat to frostbite-inducing cold onto land-shuddering earthquakes and air twisting tornadoes, here are the Earth’s wildest weather conditions.