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10 of the hottest places on Earth

June 5, 2013, 5:52 p.m.
Flaming Mountains, China

Photo: Clemson/Flickr

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Flaming Mountains, China

The Flaming Mountains, located in the Tian Shan Mountain range of Xinjiang, China, likely were named for striking gullies that have been eroded into the red sandstone bedrock, resembling a flame. But the name is also apt for another reason: These mountains are sizzling hot.

Though there is not a weather station located here to measure temperature directly, a NASA satellite equipped with a moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer, or MODIS — a device capable of measuring land surface temperatures from space — recorded one of the highest temperatures ever measured: 152.2 degrees. The reading, recorded in 2008, was the hottest measurement on Earth that year.