Most people like the cold weather. But extreme cold could be brutal, harsh, and ruthless. It’s pretty common for temperatures in some of the coldest places to fall far below zero. It’s difficult to determine the coldest places on the planet and rank them. At what time do you measure the temperature? At which place in a given region? Which season? These factors make it difficult to come up with an accurate list of the coldest places. But no one can deny that these ten places are brutally cold.
Top 10 coldest places in the world
We know that the Antarctica, Siberia, far-east China, Alaska, and most parts of Canada are freaking cold. But normal temperatures in some regions could be so ruthlessly bone-chilling that it’s hard to survive there.
10- Stanley, Idaho
The town of Stanley has a population of just 63 people, as per a 2010 census. It is located in Custer Country, Idaho. Due to the alpine subarctic climate, the region witnesses extremely cold winter and warm summer. The lowest recorded temperature was -17.8 degrees Celsius. The average low temperature is -1F in January. Though Stanley’s population is ridiculously low, the city has a mayor, a museum, and a chamber of commerce.
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9- Prospect Creek, Alaska
Prospect Creek has become uninhabited now. But not too long ago, it had more than 27,000 workers who were building the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System. Prospect Creek recorded the temperature of -62 degrees Celsius on January 23, 1971. That’s the lowest temperature ever recorded in the United States. The daily mean temperature is -14.9F in January. Despite the extremely harsh temperatures, the region has a healthy wildlife including bald eagles and bears.
8- Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar is the capital city of Mongolia with a population of more than 1.3 million people. It’s the most populous place in this list. The city experiences short and warm summers, but extremely cold and harsh winters. Most of the suburban residents live in yurt houses instead of sky-high buildings. The average temperature in January is -16F while the lowest ever recorded temperature in Ulaanbaatar is -56F. The average temperature around the year is -2.4F.
7- Mount McKinley (Denali), Alaska
Mount McKinley is now known as Denali. For a long time, it has been the coldest mountain on the planet. Denali is also the highest mountain peak in North America at 20,310 feet above sea level. It recorded a temperature of -59.7 degrees Celsius on Dec.1, 2013. The region witnesses temperatures of as low as -22 Celsius to -50 degrees Celsius in winter every year
6- Snag, Yukon Territory, Canada
Snag is a village in the Yukon territory of Canada. The lowest temperature recorded in the village is -63 degrees Celsius on February 3rd, 1947. That’s also the coldest temperature ever recorded in North America. The village experiences extreme cold because the mountains block the warm air from the Pacific Ocean. Snag is popular among tourists. The village was established during the Klondike gold rush.
5- Oymyakon, Russia
Oymyakon is one of the only two continuously inhabited places in the world along with the town of Verkhoyansk. Located in the Sakha Republic along the Indigirka River, Oymyakon witnessed a record low temperature of -67.7 degrees Celsius on Feb.6, 1993. The town has a population of around 500 people, who endure the harshest temperatures all year round. Oymyakon is popular among adventure tourists who want to experience the most extreme natural events.
4- Verkhoyansk, Russia
Verkhoyansk is a town near the Arctic Circle on the Yana River in Sakha republic. It has a population of around 2,700, according to a 2011 census. The town is known to have some of the highest temperature differences between summer and winter. Temperatures in winter fall as low as -46 degrees Celsius while the summer temperature goes up to +16 degrees Celsius. It holds the Guinness World Record for the greatest temperature difference between summer and winter of 105 degrees Celsius. The temperature remains below the freezing level from October to April.
3- North Ice, Greenland
You shouldn’t be surprised to see Greenland near the top of this list. The lowest temperature in the region was recorded on January 9, 1954 at -66.1 degrees Celsius. North Ice used to be a British research station in the Greenland ice sheet. It is located at an altitude of 2,345 meters above sea level. Though many tourism service providers have tried to promote it, it’s not a popular tourist destination.
2- Eismitte, Greenland
Eismitte is also referred to as Mid-Ice. Just like North Ice, it was a site of an expedition that took in the 1930s. The expedition claimed the lives of renowned scientists Alfred Wegener and Rasmus Villumsen. Another member of the same expedition group had to get his toes amputated without anesthetic. Now you can imagine how brutally cold it could get in Eismitte. The temperature remains below freezing levels through most of the year. It’s not uncommon for temperatures in the region to fall below -40 degrees Celsius. The warmest month is July, when the temperature rises to around 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
1- Vostok Station, AntarcticaImage Source: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)
Undoubtedly, the coldest place on earth. The Russian research station located there recorded a chilling temperature of -89.2 degrees Celsius on July 21, 1983. The Vostok Station is like an ice desert as it receives no rainfall at all. According to scientists, Antarctica gets about 90% of the world’s ice. The station was named Vostok after the lead ship of the first Russian Antarctic Expedition. The warmest month at Vostok is January, when the temperature is around -25.8 degrees Fahrenheit.