Inside world’s hottest destination where earth cracks and tourists have perished

Death Valley is widely believed to be the hottest place on Earth.

The desert valley and national park, in Eastern California, is where the highest ever ambient air temperature was recorded.

On July 10, 1913, United States Weather Bureau thermometers displayed readings of 134F, which is around 56.7C.

And on an average summer day, the arid location soars to highs of 46C.

So to avoid getting stuck in the extreme heat, visitors are advised not to go for walks past 10am.

Those who are brave enough to head outside are confronted with miles of cracked ground, saltwater flats, lava-eroded rocks and barren landscape.

The extreme weather makes it difficult for visitors to spend time outdoors.

Tourists are advised to guzzle four litres of water a day so their bodies can cope with the heat.

And while deaths at the location aren't a regular occurrence, some have perished due to the sweltering conditions in recent years.

Abigail Wines, park spokeswoman at Death Valley, says some don’t even realise when their lives are in danger.

The expert told the Las Vegas Review: “People don’t realise it can be deadly.

“They think if they’re not sweating, they’re not hot. But they don’t know that they’re sweating, because it’s so dry.”

So why is the national park so sweltering?

Scientists say it comes down to a variety of factors.

One of the main reasons is the situation of the valley, which falls between four major mountain ranges.

As it’s in a rain shadow, little moisture ever falls on the land.

Solar heating also occurs at Death Valley due to the dry and clear skies.

Meanwhile, air sinking and warming also contributes to the intense heat.

As the area drops to as low as -282 feet below sea level, air mass is compressed and warmed.

This hot air is trapped in by steep valley walls, which heats the location further.

Hot mountain winds and the migration of warm areas are other factors that are said to make temperatures soar.

But even though the conditions are hard for visitors to bear, it doesn’t stop them from visiting.

Trips aren’t for the fainthearted, but thousands flock to Death Valley each year.

Many want to experience the uniqueness of the landscape and environment.

It’s best to visit the destination in winter, where days are more mild.

Many choose to visit in December through to February.

It’s also advisable to book a tour hire a car to check out the extreme area.

You probably shouldn’t go wandering off on your own.

When driving, always check your motor is in good condition and take a map, plentiful water supplies.

And for those who break advice and get lost… gulp.

They don’t call it Death Valley for nothing.

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