The five coldest places on Earth

Have you noticed a bit of a chill in the air? If so, you're not alone. But take heart: here are five places that will make today seem like T-shirt weather.

3. Vostok Station, Antarctica

Michael Studinger/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory/KRT/Newscom/File
'Vostok Welcomes You' reads this sign at Vostok Station, Antarctica, one of the least hospitable places on Earth.

The lowest reliably-measured, naturally-occurring temperature on the Earth's surface happened about 800 miles East of the South Pole and at an altitude of 11,444 feet, on July 21, 1983. There, temperatures dropped to minus 126.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

The site is Vostok Station, Antarctica, a Russian research outpost whose fields of inquiry include hot cocoa, fuzzy socks, and getting dressed very quickly in the morning. It is one of the most inaccessible and inhospitable places on Earth. Some 25 scientists live there in the summer, where temperatures get up to a relatively pleasant minus 25 degrees F. Only 13 or so remain there through the long winter, when the mercury plunges to minus 85 degrees F. (We mean that metaphorically, because mercury actually freezes solid at around 40 below zero.)

3 of 5
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.