DID YOU KNOW? (Last part)

Hottest place on Earth?

California and the Sahara are rivals for the title of ‘hottest temperature of all time’. According to reports, on July 10, 1913, California's Death Valley hit 134° F. Not to be undone, in 1922, Libya recorded a temperature of 136.4° F in the Sahara Desert at El Azizia. The record stood for 90 years, until Guinness World Records gave the title back to California. Evidently this was a controversy. El Azizia is close to the Mediterranean Sea, so you wouldn't really expect to see temperatures that hot, and surrounding regions recorded temperatures as much as 18 degrees cooler that day, so it seemed pretty unlikely that a freak heat wave would have struck just that one town. None of that means the Sahara isn't really, really hot, though.

The Iron Man motorcycle

When Tony Stark was captured by terrorists in the desert of Afghanistan, he built an Iron Man suit and exploded everything. When Emile Leray was stranded in the desert of Morocco, he built an Iron Man motorcycle. In 1993, Leray got the bright idea to go on a road trip across the Sahara in a Citroen 2CV, quite possibly the slowest car in the world, he went off road and then crashed it. Instead of sitting around waiting for someone to rescue him, Leray took his car apart and used the parts to build a motorcycle, a project that took 12 days. By the time he finished he was down to around 16 ounces of water but was miraculously able to drive away from the wreck.

A 700-mile dust storm

In May 2011, NASA captured a photograph of a dust storm said to be 700 miles in length. Just to put that into perspective, that's about 40 miles wider than the state of Texas. So what's the deal with all the dust in the Sahara? Well for a start, nothing is really holding all the sand and dust in place. There aren't any roots to keep the ground together because nothing grows in the Sahara. And there's hardly ever any water, so the ground doesn't get packed down into mud, either. Because the Sahara is so hot, the air at ground level is unstable, so it has a tendency to fling dust particles up in the air.