Cold can often be a matter of perception. When the thermostat dips below 70 in Hawaii the locals wrap up with sweatshirts and blankets. When the same temperature is reached in northern Minnesota, however, shorts and t-shirts abound.
But in some corners of the earth cold is not a perception, it is a daily fact of life. For the coldest cities on earth, cold is not an opinion, it is a frosty, frigid, and freezing reality.
The coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was a bone-chilling minus 128.6 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature most all liquids instantly freeze, and most equipment fails.
Luckily for the citizens of the Earth, this frigid temperature was recorded at the Vostok research station located in the mostly uninhabited frozen desert of Antarctica. Unluckily for some, however, their hometown’s winter weather forecasts can come relatively close to this recorded setting low.
The exact rankings of what cities and towns are the coldest from year to year will change annually as the weather itself is a fickle thing. However, the following list comprises the consistently coldest places to live on planet Earth.
- Verkhoyansk, Russia
- Oymyakon, Russia
- Yakutsk, Russia
- Barrow, Alaska
- Snag in Yukon, Canada
These five cities and villages comprise the coldest places to live on Earth. None average above zero degrees in the winter months and few reach above freezing in the summer months.
Also interesting to note is that three of the five are located within 500 miles of each other in the frozen tundra of eastern Russia. So if considering a move in the near future, one should probably scratch Siberia off the list. Unless, of course, permafrost and nipping cold is your thing.