Facebook just posted to my timeline this picture claiming that cars in Arizona are melting in the heat.

Is it true?

enter image description here

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Sklivvz Jul 12 at 8:15
  • The text is given with a smiley - the person was just making an obvious joke. – Fattie Jul 14 at 16:38
up vote 263 down vote accepted

The weather is not melting cars. But there was a big fire in Tucson and the heat from the fire melted plastic parts on a bunch of cars in the parking lot. The pictures in this article fairly clearly match the cars, parking lot, and background building in the picture you attached.

So, are cars in Arizona melting in the heat? A few that were unfortunately parked near a building that caught on fire. Did it have anything to do with the weather? No.

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    The 6th image in the article contains the car on the left side in the above image. – Salman A Jul 8 at 20:12
  • @ErikE the picture at the top is a slideshow. Mouse over (or touch on mobile) the sides of the image to flip between them. – Doktor J Jul 10 at 17:32
  • I think more impressive (in the sense of both size and economic loss) pictures in this aritcle are the melted construction cranes. – Doktor J Jul 10 at 17:33
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    It's also obvious from the parts of the car that are scorched/damaged most, the heat was directional - specifically, behind the camera. – GalacticCowboy Jul 10 at 18:55
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    In some rare cases, reflections from windows or other lense-type objects can cause melting or warping to some plastics. The softening/melting point of the most heavily used car plastics range from about ~220°f (abs) and ~300°f (polycarbonate)...which is well above even the hottest standard outdoor temperatures. – heyitsmyusername Jul 12 at 15:05

A search on https://tineye.com led me to this tweet by @AyeElleJay with the caption "Slimmmmm! Arizona weather real different 😩" against that image.

Replies to the tweet questioned its validity, and a user named @TheMutHouse replied "this is from a recent fire in tucson, the neighboring apartment buildings cars were melted."

I'm not sure if it's the source of the image but a local news site does indeed have a story titled "Owners dealing with melted cars after construction fire".

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