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What are the Coldest Places in the World?

Diana Bocco
Updated May 23, 2024
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Antarctica takes position number one among the coldest places on earth. Mostly uninhabited except for penguin and seal colonies found along the coast, Antarctica has practically no match on the temperature department. At the Plateau Station, temperatures can easily plummet to -119.23° Fahrenheit (-84° Celsius) and the annual average temperature barely reaches -32.8°F (-36°C). The record as the coldest place, however, goes to Vostok Station, Antarctica, where the temperature reached -129°F (-89.4°C) on 21 July 1983. Scientists are the only humans to live on Antarctica for months at a time, and even they do it only in summer.

Of all inhabited areas, one of the coldest areas in the world is Siberia. Although global warming has taken a toll on Siberian winters over the past decade, it's normal for temperatures to reach -60°F (-51.1°C) in January. Oymyakon, in Eastern Siberia, has an average winter temperature of -49°F (−45°C), and may have reached a low of -96.16°F (-71.2°C), although the official record is -90°F (-67.7°C). The little village is home to 900 permanent residents, who endure winter for nine months out of the year, and considered -30°F (−34.4°C) "balmy." The area is so cold that empty plastic bags taken outside will freeze within minutes and then crack like glass.

Outside of Russia, the prize for one of the coldest areas goes to Greenland, where the cities of Northice and Eismitte frequently see temperatures of -50°F (-45.5°C). The Yukon, Canada, falls close behind by only a few degrees. In the US, one of the coldest places is definitively International Falls, Minnesota, where temperatures normally reach -32°F (-35.5°C) in winter. Prospect Creek, Alaska, has broken several records in the American continent, including reaching -79.8°F (-62.1°C) in 2003.

To survive in the coldest places in the world, humans have had to adapt their environment and lifestyle significantly. Everything freezes at such low temperatures, from electronics to gasoline to pen ink; batteries lose power and pipes crack under the pressure exerted by ice and snow. In Ojmjakon, children are not allowed to play outside for more than 20 minutes at a time during a typical winter day. At -60°F (-51.1°C), their lungs can freeze and collapse. Despite all the difficulties, humans have found a way to change the environment and survive. Many of the coldest areas in the world now attract tourists who are eager to see, at least for a few days, what real winter is all about.

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diana Bocco
By Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco, a versatile writer with a distinct voice, creates compelling long-form and short-form content for various businesses. With a data-focused approach and a talent for sharing engaging stories, Diana’s written work gets noticed and drives results.
Discussion Comments
By anon935071 — On Feb 23, 2014

I have seen -72 Fahrenheit in 1970 on Christmas Day in a place along highway 97 called 70 Mile House. There are several witnesses in my family to this one.

Also I have worked in -65 Fahrenheit in a sawmill in the same region. This used to be relatively common, but it is now rare to see past -40 celsius.

By anon328464 — On Apr 03, 2013

It was -62 F in Evergreen, MN and -71 in Tower, MN on the morning of February 4th 1997. It was so cold that in some spots, the moisture in the trees were making them blow out. There are a lot of spots in western North Dakota that get very cold, too.

By anon322741 — On Mar 01, 2013

First of all let me just say that places outside of Russia, Canada, Alaska and Antarctica are not going to be nearing the top 5 coldest places. The only time a place farther south then Siberia was the coldest place on earth was Edmonton, Alberta when it hit -49 C.

Places like Scotland, Mainland America (other than possibly International Falls, but since its on the border of Canada it almost doesn't matter) and England will never reach those temperatures.

First off, the coldest inhabited place in the world is Eureka, Nunavut. It averages a -20 C year round temperature. Although cities in Siberia have a colder winter on average, (Eureka only averages -42 C in the winter whereas Omyakon, Russia averages -47 C.), their summers are much milder then those of Eureka. Yakutk in the Yakutsk region of Siberia, is the coldest city in the world. Winnipeg ranks third after Harbin, China. For snow, the top two towns in the world are Sapporo, Japan followed by Stewart, British Columbia.

For the people who have also said that their cities have hit -50 and are part of mainland America, I completely doubt it. The only major cities where that happens are in Russia and Canada.

By anon310593 — On Dec 24, 2012

Here are some stats:

Wednesday, January 11, 1911 Fort Vermilion, Alberta −61.1 °C or (minus 78 F).

Sunday, January 5, 1975 Old Crow, Yukon −59.4 °C

Friday, January 31, 1947 Smith River, British Columbia −58.9 °C

Wednesday, January 23, 1935 Iroquois Falls, Ontario −58.3 °C

Tuesday, February 13, 1973 Shephard Bay, Nunavut −57.8 °C

Wednesday, December 26, 1917 Fort Smith, Northwest Territories −57.2 °C

Wednesday, February 1, 1893 Prince Albert, Saskatchewan −56.7 °C

Sunday, February 11, 1979 Dawson City, Yukon −55.8 °C

Friday, February 9, 1934 Iroquois Falls, Ontario −55.6 °C

Thursday, February 15, 1979 Eureka, Nunavut −55.3 °C

By anon309211 — On Dec 15, 2012

I am living in western Turkey. There is wonderful weather every time. In winter snow is falling less, but enough.

By anon308815 — On Dec 12, 2012

Every place has it's odd freaky cold days. How about snow on the ground for six-plus months? Welcome to Alberta.

By anon278466 — On Jul 06, 2012

I have a question for you all who seem to know about extreme cold temperatures. Can teeth freeze and fall off when it gets extremely cold?

By anon258025 — On Mar 30, 2012

There's a place in Canada (I forget the name. I think it starts with a B) but it's the coldest inhabited place in the world. It's even colder than Vostok.

By anon241875 — On Jan 20, 2012

Yakutsk is not Siberia. It is a capital of Republic Sakha Yakutia.And Yakut people live there, they look like asians. I was born in Yakutsk, and there is really cold, that even your bones feel pain.

By anon241263 — On Jan 18, 2012

What is the rank of Winnipeg as being the coldest place in the world?

By anon236331 — On Dec 22, 2011

I live in kashmir and it's definitely not the coldest, but I think at minamarg drass, some 100 km from srinagar, the windchill is the deadliest.

By anon205323 — On Aug 11, 2011

World's coldest place is definitely Vostok (Antarctica), followed by Verkhoyansk and Oymyakon in Siberia, and then Snag Junction and Prospect Creek in Yukon and Alaska respectively.Some of these readings were taken as many as 60 years ago. Greenland's Eismitte is probably the next though temperatures have not been recorded every winter during certain years

By anon156190 — On Feb 26, 2011

Fort McMurray: Hot oil industry - incredibly cold climate.

By anon150905 — On Feb 09, 2011

I am Canadian, but I must say some of these other Canadians posting on here obviously do not remotely understand the difference between the actual temperature and the given windchill temperature.

I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, which on average is way colder than Edmonton or Calgary Alberta. To say that the temperature easily reaches -40 or -50 is a bunch of crap. With the windchill yes it does get to -40 (it was -42 C with the windchill here today), however the coldest the temperature actually was was -32 C. We have had one -39ish day here this year, and that is quite rare.

Windchill does not affect inanimate objects such as cars, pipes, bricks, buildings and etc in the way it affects humans. It does cool them down faster, but if they are already cold it doesn't make a difference. It's the hot 'moist' things like us humans that the windchill affects by whipping away our heat faster.

We can have -15 C with a (feels like) -38 C windchill, however your car sitting outside will never get colder than -15C. It will just have a harder time heating up warmer than that.

By anon149992 — On Feb 06, 2011

Worked in the russian arctic where temperature dipped to -50 the first time there felt like -150, been in the southern region of Alberta.

By anon147957 — On Jan 31, 2011

Drass, India is officially the second coldest inhabited place on earth.

By anon147665 — On Jan 30, 2011

@anon12179: All of Alaska experiences winters longer then three months, not just far inland Alaska. Here in Juneau, Alaska we get winter from around october/november till march/april.

By anon144021 — On Jan 18, 2011

UK experienced the coldest winter in a decade: -21.4 in the village I live (record low), which is nothing compared to some parts of the world. I wished I lived in a cold place like Fairbanks. I so love the snow and winter.

By anon139249 — On Jan 04, 2011

the coldest place is Vostok, Antarctica: -128.6 C

By anon137501 — On Dec 28, 2010

i think this time laddak(india)is the coldest place.

By anon134023 — On Dec 13, 2010

winnipeg is terribly cold. my car won't start at the moment.

By anon133532 — On Dec 11, 2010

I live in Fairbanks, Alaska. It snows in September and the snow stays around until April. During November-March the temperatures usually range from about -55F to +10F. -20F is a typical day.

We usually get two or three long stretches (one to three weeks) of temperatures below -40F every day. Kids are required to play outside for recess at school down to -20F.

You get used to the low temps. You wear cold weather gear and you plug in your car (heaters for your cars oil pan and engine block). We did have a serious weather event two weeks ago. It shut down much of interior Alaska: the university, state offices, the schools, etc. for three days. It rained, freezing rain on snow and frozen ground so everything turned into a skating rink.

By anon133525 — On Dec 11, 2010

Scientists are not the only humans to live in Antarctica. There are plenty of support staff there as well! (e.g. cooks, doctors, snow shovelers, pilots, etc.)

By anon130787 — On Nov 29, 2010

Pakistan has glaciers, but is far from being the coldest place in the world.

By anon129856 — On Nov 25, 2010

I live in Calgary, Alberta. Really, it isn't that bad with Chinooks and all that. Sure it gets down below -30 for the majority of our eight months of winter, but it also gets up above 0 for a couple of days at least once a month that time. I just put on a sweater or three, a pair of gloves, some wool socks and some hockey skates and all of my problems disappear.

By anon129796 — On Nov 25, 2010

Nobody is disputing that Canada is colder than the US. We have a few constantly cold areas, but our winters are by comparison very short, which is why we choose to live here and not in Edmunton! Although some of our closest friends live in Canada and we are very fond of you who choose to live in what we consider to be uncomfortable cold.

By anon129538 — On Nov 24, 2010

What about Calgary? It's not as cold as some places, but it's cold for a long time. It's a month before winter starts, and already it's -34 degrees celsius!

(and from last year, it didn't stop snowing until April, almost.)

By anon123280 — On Nov 01, 2010

Lithuania's cold record is -42.7 Celsius!

By anon121793 — On Oct 25, 2010

Minnesota is a joke for winters. There isn't one state that can honestly say they have winter more than three months of the year (unless you're living far inland Alaska away from the beautiful, easy-to-take Pacific air). Good Lord!

By anon121791 — On Oct 25, 2010

For God's sake people, it doesn't matter that Antarctica is the coldest place on earth and next to it Siberia. No one cares!

The point is: where do the hardiest of people live? Look for a city of 1,000,000 people who chose to live where it gets to these nasty temps. The answer, truly, is Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Yellowknife temps. The Pacific Coast of Alaska makes wimps with their beautiful rainy weather in the winter.

Don't let those people fool you, unless they live inland at least in Fairbanks or Prospect. When people in the U.S. say, "My Gosh! One day it was such-and-such below F degrees here" Who cares, that was one day. Try being the people who live it often, not one freakish day. LOL! Think about it. A lot of people living it a lot. A lot of people living it one weird day. Hmmmm.

By anon118288 — On Oct 13, 2010

Siachen glaciers, Pakistan is the coldest place and Jacobabad and Sibbi also in Pakistan are the hottest places.

By anon104645 — On Aug 17, 2010

Holland is cold too.

By anon102282 — On Aug 07, 2010

sahara in south africa is coldest place in the world.

By anon98093 — On Jul 22, 2010

Pakistan SIBI is coldest place in the world.

By anon92359 — On Jun 27, 2010

i think new zealand is cold too.

By anon91750 — On Jun 23, 2010

Alberta, Canada has colder winters than Greenland. The temperatures often get up to 50 degrees Celsius in the winter. Windows crack in the cold, iPods fail to turn on due to a frozen battery, and the slightest bit of moisture freezes to your face.

By anon77143 — On Apr 13, 2010

Sorry guys, but Yakutsk, (Siberia) Russia is documented to be the coldest on record consistently. That way hundreds of years ago a form of punishment was to send the criminals to Siberia.

By anon75814 — On Apr 07, 2010

I'm sorry. But you Americans need to understand that there are colder places than your country around the world.

By anon74673 — On Apr 03, 2010

texas (where I live) is not the coldest place on earth. i think antarctica is the coldest.

By anon69956 — On Mar 11, 2010

Montana! Montana! Mn is a lot colder a lot longer!

By anon69933 — On Mar 10, 2010

There's a sinkhole called Peter's Sink in northern corner of Utah near where Wyoming and Idaho meet. It got down to -69°F (-56°C) back in the winter of 1985 and came close in February of 2002 at -67°F (-55°C).

Routinely, this is probably the coldest place in the contiguous US. Every winter this sinkhole will plummet below -50°F (-46°C) and -60°F (-51°C) mornings are fairly common too.

By anon66222 — On Feb 18, 2010

We have just gotten out of one of the worst winter storm in Sherman, TX. Snow up to one foot, which is very unusual for Texas or Oklahoma. Ice everywhere. Schools were canceled all over north Texas. Is this the end of the world?

By anon59745 — On Jan 10, 2010

Right now a place in Skye, Scotland is the third coldest inhabited place on earth. Antarctica doesn't count as nobody lives there.

By anon59626 — On Jan 09, 2010

outer space is my pick

By anon59544 — On Jan 09, 2010

Indeed it has, its amusing that a country only 20 years or so ago had a regular "winter" and we didn't even bat an eyelid at a bit of snow (and we'd get sometimes a foot or two worth of it) and now suddenly can't handle it anymore when it comes around, and it's not even that high. It's what -- two inches? and it's a national catastrophe lol.

By anon59068 — On Jan 06, 2010

its -1 in the uk at the moment and everything has come to a standstill.

By anon58691 — On Jan 03, 2010

well in tullahoma, tennessee it is the same temperature as it is in siberia.

By anon58081 — On Dec 30, 2009

yellowknife is cold too...reaches -50 deg celsius quite easily

By anon56280 — On Dec 13, 2009

I think people here don't understand the difference between fahrenheit and celsius: it's a huge difference. Try to convert and you will see that you are all way off in the states! sorry but when we say -30 celsius we actually mean -22 fahrenheit! that makes it much colder then you think!

By anon56244 — On Dec 13, 2009

simferopol is coldest place _200 F

By anon56228 — On Dec 13, 2009

i think that the coldest place is antarctica.

By anon55239 — On Dec 06, 2009

the coldest place in the world is Antarctica. It's −128.6 °F there. That's cold.

By anon52027 — On Nov 10, 2009

in Hayden colorado it has gotten -43F and we still had to go to school. we have not had a snow day in 30 to 40 years, but we have had broken pipe days which are nice.

By anon51415 — On Nov 05, 2009

southern california is so cold! it gets down to 80 degrees here! brrr

By anon50835 — On Nov 01, 2009

I think the coldest place in the world is Tiksi in Siberia. In winter it's nearly everyday -50 Celsius and one day it was -69.8 Celsius.

By anon50488 — On Oct 29, 2009

i think himachal in india is the very coolest place in india. but here only particular people like siththarkal and yogis live there. The other one perfect cool place in south india is ooty and kodaikanal.

By anon50354 — On Oct 28, 2009

How about Drass village in Ladakh, which is considered to be the second coldest inhabitated place in the world? is that true?

By anon50069 — On Oct 25, 2009

Nah they say Antarctica is but if you go to a place that has -30 Celsius, it's almost warm compared to -10 Celsius with a strong wind, where you freeze. There are many dependent factors.

By anon49782 — On Oct 22, 2009

cameron highlands in malaysia is cold too. Come and visit Malaysia!

By anon46962 — On Sep 30, 2009

I live in south louisiana and we get 30 degrees over here in the winter.

By anon45654 — On Sep 18, 2009

chicago is pretty cold too...

By anon41812 — On Aug 17, 2009

There is also Yakutsk, Russia.

By anon23738 — On Jan 01, 2009

Minot North Dakota is one cold place.

By anon15703 — On Jul 19, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska, routinely experiences -50 and -60 in the winter. The average winter temp. is about -40. I live in one of the warmer spots of AK, and I've been through colder days than what they list here.

By anon8372 — On Feb 12, 2008

A town here in Michigan called Vanderbilt (without wind chill) -51

By anon4502 — On Oct 20, 2007

What about Roger's Pass, Montana? It once got -70 degrees F there. That's way colder than International Falls, Minnesota!

Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco, a versatile writer with a distinct voice, creates compelling long-form and short-form content for various...
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