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Decoded | How Much Heat A Normal Human Body Can Tolerate?

We all know that the normal human body temperature is 98.6-degree Fahrenheit which is equal to 37-degree Celsius. Above this is called fever that can sometimes lead to hyperthermia in a heatwave condition. It could be fatal.


Generally, it is held at a maximum temperature at which humans can survive is 108.14-degree Fahrenheit or 42.3-degree Celsius. You may know that a higher temperature might cause irreparable damage to the brain and denature proteins.

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But the temperature outside is far higher, isn’t it?

Yes! The temperature has soared quite high in certain parts of the world. North India is too facing heatwave. Monsoon is delayed and temperature is high in the cities like Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Western Uttar Pradesh.

As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Delhi recorded a temperature 7-degree Celsius higher than normal.

  • Good thing is that humans are warm-blooded mammals, which means that they are protected by a mechanism called homeostasis, a process through which the human brain — the part called the hypothalamus — regulates body temperature to keep it in the survival range.
  • Dilation of blood vessels, sweating and breathing through the mouth, or the urge to go out in open spaces for fresh air are ways through which the hypothalamus regulates human body temperature.

Now, the question is “If the body regulates temperature, why to worry?”

Understanding this is not so easy. Except in the cases of some infections or illnesses, the human body temperature depends on a number of variables, like humidity, outside temperature, and oxygen supply.

  • In a 1985 report, Nasa said that the human body is built to perform between a temperature range of 4-35-degree Celsius.
  • But, if humidity is lower than 50 per cent, the human body can sustain much hotter weather conditions. The equation is simple. The higher the humidity, hotter the body feels and requires more sweating to regulate the inside temperature.

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What is the highest temperatures at which humans have survived?

A place named Furnace Creek Ranch in California holds the highest record for the highest temperature on the earth.

  • It is 134-degree Fahrenheit or 56.7-degree Celsius. It was recorded on July 10, 1913. The place was then called the Greenland Ranch, but its high temperatures gave it its new name.
  • Furnace Creek Ranch officially became the hottest place on the earth after the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) rejected the claim of 58-degree Celsius recorded at El Azizia in Libya in 1922 in a review during 2010-12.
  • In India, Phalodi in Rajasthan holds the record for highest temperature measured ever. Phalodi, near Pokharan, recorded a temperature of 51-degree Celsius or 123.8-degree Fahrenheit on May 19, 201.
  • In Churu (Rajasthan), which often makes news for high temperatures, it reached 50.2-degree Celsius or 122.4-degree Fahrenheit in August 2017.

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Singh Vivek

With over 5 years of writing obituaries for a different organisation, I have a uniquely wry voice that shines through in my newest collection of articles.

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