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What is it like living in the world’s hottest location?


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Death Valley is the hottest place on earth, with temperatures exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) in summer.

Aside from the heat, Death Valley is also home to a host of terrifying scorpions, tarantulas, and venomous snakes that lurk quietly in the Californian desert.

And you might want to be careful too, as mines full of toxic gases are found in more places than you might expect.

So how do people live in such a place?

MailOnline explores the main threats to Death Valley National Park and advice from rangers in extreme conditions.

1. The weather can kill

“Travel prepared to survive” is a National Park Service directive warning of deadly local temperatures.

Death Valley is known as the hottest place on Earth and the driest place in North America. People often die here, but the true losses from heat-related diseases are still unknown.

The highest temperatures in the valley peaked at 134 °F (57 °C) nearly 110 years ago at the small village of Furneys Creek before falling to about 32 °F (0 °C) at night.

The change in temperature from hot to cold in this area is completely normal, as at night the sands cool very quickly and frosts often occur.

“Don’t fall victim to Death Valley,” the rangers advise. Drink at least 1 gallon (4 liters) of water per day to compensate for sweat loss, or more if you are active. Stay on paved roads in summer. Carry a supply of drinking water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

While winters are much milder in Death Valley, the area still experiences occasional thunderstorms and severe flooding.

However, rangers are urging visitors and locals to always be on the lookout as nausea and dizziness can be a sign of heatstroke.

2. Animals

The desert is home to some crawling creatures, from rattlesnakes to scorpions and even black widow spiders. That’s why park officials warn that anyone who ventures across such extreme terrain should never stick their hands or feet into something they can’t see clearly.

The Wernerius inyoensis scorpion was recently discovered in the Inyo Mountains of the valley in 2009 and is one of the smallest scorpions ever found in the United States.

And while it’s poisonous, this species probably won’t kill you, unlike many others. Tarantulas and snakes of the Mojave Desert also hide here, the latter, perhaps capable of killing a small child.

But you might be surprised to know that ferrets actually pose a significant risk of death in the area, as contact with them or their feces can spread hantaviruses. Symptoms of this include fatigue, fever, and muscle aches, as well as chills and stomach problems.

Although it is not clear if anyone in the valley has contracted the virus, researchers have found traces of the hantavirus variant in native cactus mice.

3. Insidious ways

With scorching temperatures and countless scorpions, you can expect them to be the leading cause of death in the aptly named Death Valley.

But park officials say car crashes actually kill the most people, as many crashes have been reported over the years.

Poor phone signal limits attempts to get help as the valley is completely cut off from neighboring Las Vegas.

It states that “More people die in car crashes than from any other cause.” To avoid an accident, obey speed limits, downshift on steep hills, and wear your seat belt.

4. Toxic mines

In the late 19th century, many willingly flocked to Death Valley to mine for gold and silver.

But these efforts failed due to a lack of water, fuel, and technology, making it impossible to find anything of value. To this day, abandoned mines are scattered across the desert. One of the most controversial is the 500-foot-deep Buraxo mine, which has reportedly sparked public outcry over the exploitation of the national parks.

While these historic sites may seem interesting to explore, rangers say they should be avoided at all costs. They claim it can contain “pockets of dirty air” and even toxic gases.

This bad air can be caused by a lack of oxygen and possibly carbon monoxide. The University of Nevada warns that someone may not feel the consequences until they leave the mine.

5. Dangerous hemp farms

If you’ve watched the hit series Breaking Bad, you may be familiar with Walter White’s hemp farm in the middle of a secluded desert.

As it turned out, in some areas of Death Valley there are very similar places, which, according to the rangers, pose a potential danger.

And if a local stumbles upon one of these things, the service advises them to “run, walk, crawl or hide” just to be safe.

Slowing down to take a photo or get location coordinates is also a bad idea, with a physical description good enough to alert the authorities.

Source: Daily Mail

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