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Teenagers play volleyball as they cool themselves down in in Paris.
Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

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How lemurs (and humans) are cooling off in Europe’s record heat wave

What Europe’s sweltering heat wave looks like.

Brian Resnick is Vox’s science and health editor, and is the co-creator of Unexplainable, Vox's podcast about unanswered questions in science. Previously, Brian was a reporter at Vox and at National Journal.

A massive, potentially deadly heat wave has settled in over Europe this week. Temperatures in some cities have topped 105 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking records. It may get worse, as Vox’s Umair Irfan explains, with the heat rising to 110 degrees by Friday in some locations.

The heat is widespread: There’s nowhere to beat the heat from Portugal to Poland. In Spain, it’s exacerbating a dangerous 10,000-acre wildfire. Elsewhere across the continent, officials have declared heat warnings, canceled events, and set up cooling stations for people to cool down.

During any summer, such heat waves are possible. But in a warming world, more are expected.

This week, Europeans are finding temporary relief by bathing in public fountains, eating frozen foods, and trying to make the best of the oppressive weather conditions. Photojournalists have been documenting what the heat wave has looked like across the continent. And their images show how joy and hardship can coexist in a sweltering world.

A resident points to a forest fire raging in the northeastern region of Catalonia, Spain.
Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images
This metro car in Paris is 96 degrees Fahrenheit. Ugh!
Stephanie Delfour/AFP/Getty Images
The French Red Cross assists a woman in Tours, France.
Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images
This temperature gauge in northern Italy reads 43 degrees Celsius. That’s 109.4 degrees Fahrenheit!
Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images
It’s not all bad. A couple kiss as they cool themselves down in the fountain of the Trocadero esplanade in Paris.
Kenzo Troubouillard/AFP/Getty Images
Children play under water jets as they cool off in Nice, France.
Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images
Two meerkats inspect ice cakes with frozen fruit and vegetables at the zoo in Hanover, northern Germany, where temperatures reached 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit).
Hauke-Christian Dittrich/AFP/Getty Images
Animal keeper Claudia Beck puts sun cream on the skin of South American tapir Bambou at the Serengeti-Park animal park in Hodenhagen near Hanover, northern Germany.
Mohssen Assanimoghaddam/AFP/Getty Images
I can look at animals eating ice pops all day. Can you? This is a crowned sifaka cooling off at a zoo in Heidelberg, Germany.
Uwe Anspach/AFP/Getty Image
Okay, just one more photo of an animal licking a frozen treat. This is a ring-tailed lemur in Heidelberg.
Uwe Anspach/AFP/Getty Images
Another species with a frozen treat in Lowestoft, England.
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
People use an umbrella to shelter from the sun near the Louvre Pyramid in Paris.
Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images
A couple swim past a model boat at the Schwarzachtalsee lake in Ertingen, Germany.
Thomas Warnack/AFP/Getty Images


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