A section of highway connecting Sydney and Melbourne started to melt. Bats fell dead from the trees, struck down by the heat.
On the northern Great Barrier Reef, 99% of baby green sea turtles, a species whose sex is determined by temperature, were found to be female.
In outer suburban Sydney, the heat hit 47.3C (117F) before a cool change knocked it down - to the relative cool of just 43.6C in a neighbouring suburb the following day.
Scenes from a sci-fi novel depicting a scorched future? No, just the first days of 2018 in Australia, where summer is in fierce form.
With parts of the US suffering through a particularly grim winter, extremes in both hemispheres have triggered discussions about the links between current events and the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.