How much do you know about the heat?

little girl with big sunglasses looking at sun
Photo: vvvita/Shutterstock

It's the dog days of summer, so what better time to ponder the miserable temperature? Test your knowledge.

Question 1 of 12

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thermometer on window showing high temperature
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What's the hottest it has ever been on Earth?

And you thought it was hot where you live! Our planet probably was at its sweltering worst way back in its infancy when it was speeding around the solar system, running into debris. The heat of those collisions would likely have kept Earth molten, reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Question 2 of 12

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deserted car in the desert
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In modern times, where was the official hottest temperature recorded?

The highest recorded temperature is 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56.7 Celsius), which was measured on July 10, 1913, in Death Valley in the Mohave Desert. Previously, the record was held by El Azizia, Libya, with a measurement of 58 degrees Celsius but the record was disqualified in 2012 by the World Meteorological Organisation.

Question 3 of 12

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The heat index is air temperature plus what?

Also known as apparent temperature, the heat index is a formula that combines the moisture content in the atmosphere (relative humidity) with the actual temperature to describe what the temperature really feels like to the human body.

Question 4 of 12

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vegetables in a market
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The inside of which veggie can be much cooler than the outside air?

There's a reason we say someone is "cool as a cucumber." The inside temperature of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the air outside it.

Question 5 of 12

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window glass with condensation from humidity
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What forms in 100 percent relative humidity?

Relative humidity measures how close to saturation the air is with water vapor. When humidity is 100 percent, that means the air can't hold any more water vapor so it will usually be foggy outside. There's a chance it will be misty or drizzly, too, but fog is usually what forms.

Question 6 of 12

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Need ice cubes? Hot water sometimes freezes faster than cold water.

The phenomenon in which hot water freezes in some circumstances more quickly than cold water is called the Mpemba effect. It's been well-documented, but scientists don't agree on why it happens. The Royal Society of Chemistry even held a contest recently for the best and most creative explanation.

Question 7 of 12

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eggshell on a sidewalk
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Can you fry an egg on the sidewalk if it's hot enough?

The science is iffy on this one. Several sources say an egg needs at least 158 degrees to cook and the sidewalk typically doesn't stay that hot. But Bill Nye the Science Guy did an experiment and said 130 degrees works OK. However, you have to take variables into account like the fact that a hot sidewalk cools when an egg hits it and whether the egg is in direct sunlight. So yes ... sort of.

Question 8 of 12

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1940s style photo of woman fainting
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Hot, dry skin and decreased sweating can be symptoms of:

Both types of heat-related illnesses can have symptoms such as nausea, headache and fatigue. But signs of the more serious heat stroke also include hot, dry, flushed skin and a drop in the amount you sweat. If you suspect heat stroke, get emergency help right away.

Question 9 of 12

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boat under the sun
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What is the summer solstice?

The summer solstice, usually between June 20-22 in the Northern Hemisphere, is when the Earth is tilted as far as it can toward the sun. It's the longest day of the year because after this day, the sun starts rising later and setting earlier. "Solstice" comes from the Latin solsitium, or "sun stands still." And indeed, the sun seems to be stopped in the sky.

Question 10 of 12

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hash marks
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You can estimate the temperature by counting:

It's called Dolbear's Law. To estimate the temperature, count the number of cricket chirps in 14 seconds, then add 40 to that sum. For example, 40 chirps (in 14 seconds) + 40 = 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Question 11 of 12

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USA map puzzle
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Only two states have record highs below 100 degrees. One is Alaska, the other is:

It reached 100 degrees in Hawaii on April 27,1931, but rarely do the temperatures rise above 90. Perhaps that's one of the reason they call these islands "paradise."

Question 12 of 12

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hot dog lying on his side
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Why are they called the "dog days of summer"?

To the ancient Romans and Greeks, the dog days happened around the day when Sirius, Orion's dog star, appeared to rise before sunrise in late July. Since then, people have taken the phrase to mean when even dogs can't stand the heat or when dogs go crazy because of the temperatures.

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little girl with big sunglasses looking at sun
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