Historically, These Are The Coldest Places You'll Find On Earth

Real History |

Over time, we've noticed seasonal weather patterns and concluded that some places are just too damn cold. Each winter, you'll want to avoid the following destinations unless you're extremely brave and have lots of hard liquor on you.

Vostok Station, Antarctica

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Anywhere that includes the word arctic is probably going to be quite chilly. But Vostok, Antarctica just might take the cake as the coldest destination on planet earth. It's an ice cap climate, meaning there's sub zero temperatures all year round. January is its warmest month, hitting a balmy -16.8 degrees Fahrenheit, and August is its chilliest, with a high of -60.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest wind chill ever recorded at Vostok was -191 degrees Fahrenheit in August 2005. The real temperature was a mere -101 degrees.

It's also one of the driest places in the world, with only 23 days of recorded snowfall per year. It was the former site of ice core drilling which took place off and on from the 1970's-early 2000's.

International Falls, Minnesota

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Situated on the far upper portion of Minnesota, International Falls forms the gateway to Ontario, Canada. It's also one of the most frigid locales in North America, definitely within the United States.

This was a popular area of passage for explorers over the past several centuries, but wasn't formally incorporated into a city until 1909. Affectionately dubbed "Icebox of the Nation," International Falls reaches January highs of around -9.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Minnesota as whole isn't exactly Hawaii, but International Falls is even cold by their standards.

Yakutsk, Russia

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Yakutsk is the coldest city in the world with a population of over 250,000 people. Located 250 miles south of the Arctic Circle, it's lucky to hit -25 degrees Fahrenheit during winter, and can routinely hit -60 and below.

Why do people live here? It all started with the discovery of gold in the region back in the 1880's, followed by Joseph Stalin's decision to utilize the outpost for his forced labor camps. As if being forced to work the fields wasn't enough, political prisoners had to do it in unbearably cold conditions. Ouch.

Verkhoyansk, Russia

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Now we'll go even further north from Yakutsk, to a place with the greatest temperature disparity ever recorded. From summer to winter, Verkhoyansk experiences a 189 degree Fahrenheit difference. But of course this mostly leans in the direction of very, very cold.

Despite its desolation, there is an airport, river port, and fur-collecting depot. Like many cities at extreme latitudes, there is little precipitation throughout the year. It is most likely to rain/snow in transitional months like October and May rather than in December and January.

Hell, Norway

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Best known for its name of course, Hell is a tiny outpost with barely 1,440 people. The village is known for some of the coldest, darkest winters in the northern hemisphere, but it also has a phenomenon called "endless days" in June and early July. This latter event is much more popular because it entails 24 hours of sunlight.

At 63 degrees latitude, it's one of the highest inhabitable locations on the planet. Just try not to go during winter time.


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