Hardly the most popular holiday hotspots, these places are known for their extreme cold. If you are planning a visit, grab a blanket and get ready to hunker down – they hold the record for the coldest temperatures ever recorded.
1) Eastern Antarctic Plateau, Antarctica (-94°C)
The Eastern Antarctic Plateau claims the title of coldest place on Earth. Satellite data collected between 2004 and 2016 across Dome Argus and Dome Fuji, an area around the size of Australia, suggests that air temperatures could be around -94°C. If these remote measurements are correct, this would be the coldest air temperature on Earth, and researchers think that land temperatures could get as low as -98°C.
2) Vostok Station Antarctica (-89.2°C)
Located in the Southern Pole of Cold, an area in the southern hemisphere with some of the lowest-recorded surface temperatures, the Vostok research station was created by the Soviet Union in 1957. Thermometers here reached a low of -89.2°C in July 1983, the lowest air temperature ever directly recorded. It is also one of the driest places on Earth, receiving around 20 millimetres of precipitation a year, all of which is snow.
3) Amundsen-Scott Station, Antarctica (-82.8°C)
Located on the South Pole, the Amundsen-Scott Station was built in 1956 and gets six months of sunlight in the summer and six months of total darkness in the winter months. The highest temperature recorded on this part of the East Antarctic Plateau was on Christmas Day in 2011, where thermometers rose to a positively balmy -12.3°C. The coldest on record was -82.8°C in June 1982.
4) Denali, Alaska, United States of America (-73°C)
Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley, is the highest mountain peak in North America, more than 6000 metres above sea level. With an average temperature of around -10°C, only half the people who attempt to climb this mountain actually make it to the peak. Between 1950 and 1969, a weather station there picked up a temperature of around -73°C, but wind chills can be as low as -83.4°C.
5) Klinck station, Greenland (-69.6°C)
The Klinck weather station holds the record for the coldest place in the Arctic Circle. Located in central Greenland, it beat the previous record held by Oymyakon (see below) by around 2 degrees in December 1991, reaching -69.6°C. Despite these cold temperatures, much of Greenland’s ice is melting rapidly.
6) Oymyakon, Siberia, Russia (-67.7°C)
Oymyakon is the coldest permanently-inhabited place on Earth and is found in the Arctic Circle’s Northern Pole of Cold. In 1933, it recorded its lowest temperature of -67.7°C. With a population of below 500, schools will shut only if it’s colder than -55°C, which can be the average minimum temperature during the winter.
7) North Ice, Greenland (-66.1°C)
This research station, set up during the British North Greenland Expedition in the 1950s, held the record low temperature in North America at the time. In 1954, the temperature plunged to -66.1°C.
8) Yakutsk, Siberia, Russia (-64.4°C)
Yakutsk is one of the coldest cities on Earth and located on permafrost. Although the region experiences some short but warm summers, with temperatures in 2011 reaching up to 38.4°C, it also has long and extremely cold winters. In 1891, temperatures dropped to -64.4°C. Located along the Lena river, during the winter months it is often cold enough for the river to freeze and become strong enough to be used as a road.
9) Snag, Yukon Territory, Canada (-62.8°C)
In 1947, the small village of Snag in the Yukon of northwest Canada was home to around 10 First Nation people. The village was used as an emergency landing strip during second world war and later as a weather station, where temperatures as low as -62.8°C were recorded, prompting researchers to get their equipment retested to make sure it was working correctly.
10) Prospect Creek, Alaska, United States of America (-62.1°C)
Built as a settlement for workers of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in the late 1970s, the village is now practically deserted. In January 1971, a frosty -62.1°C was recorded and the settlement still claims some of the coldest winter temperatures in the USA.