+ Take, for instance, the Run Across the Sahara by Charlie Engle, Ray Zahab, and Kevin Lin. The trio hoofed it 4,300 miles (6,920 kilometers) in 111 days from Senegal to Egypt. That's about a marathon and a half every day, with only two showers and Lord knows how much sand stuck between their toes.
+ Alexander Zverev and Andrei Patouv survived on the margins of China's Taklamakan Desert (it's not Mandarin for Bermuda Triangle, but it could be) for 25 days without food after a boating accident.
+ No-limits aviator Steve Fossett tragically disappeared after taking off in a single-engine plane in driest Nevada.
+ Death Valley may not be the lowest place in the Western Hemisphere anymore (the Valdés Peninsula in Argentina snatched that title a few years ago), but it's still the hottest. On July 7 the mercury hit 129°F (54°C) in Furnace Creek, California, the hottest temp in a nation that saw one of its warmest years on record.
+ The downside: Ph.D.'s predict that it's going to do nothing but climb. The sunny side: Desert rats shouldn't be left wanting for new extremes to explore.