What is the coldest city in the world?

The coldest continent on Earth, as we know, is Antarctica – the temperature here drops below -89.2 degrees Celsius. When people first started visiting it, they were amazed at how cold it was. For example, in his letter to the explorer Ernest Shackleton in September 1902, he spoke about the extreme cold, which led to catastrophic consequences for the crew – one person even died. The temperature, he said, dropped to -52 degrees Celsius. Most people would find such frost truly unbearable, but there is a city in Russia where residents have to deal with much lower temperatures every year.

Which city is the coldest in the world? In the coldest city on Earth, the temperature drops to -60 degrees. Photo.

In the coldest city on Earth, the temperature drops to -60 degrees


  • 1 The coldest populated area on Earth
  • 2 The coldest city on Earth
  • 3 How people live in the coldest city on Earth
  • 4 Why is it so cold in Yakutsk

The coldest populated area on Earth

The coldest populated area on the planet is Oymyakon in Yakutia. It is a small village, but is well known throughout the world as one of the “Pole of Cold”. It really is a very harsh place. The officially recognized absolute minimum here was registered on February 6, 1933 – it was -67.7 degrees. However, according to some reports, in 1964 the temperature dropped to -71.1 degrees.

The coldest settlement on Earth. The settlement of Oymyakon is considered the «Pole of Cold». Photo source: ren.tv. Photo.

The settlement of Oymyakon is considered the «Pole of Cold». Photo source: ren.tv

True, recently there has been debate among scientists regarding the coldest populated area. For example, the authorities of Yakutia put Verkhoyansk, where 768 people live, in first place. In the coldest months, the temperature here is 1-1.3 degrees lower than in Oymyakon. In January 1885, the temperature here dropped to -67.8 degrees Celsius. However, the average annual temperature is still 0.33 degrees higher than in Oymyakon.

The coldest city on Earth

Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk are small settlements that cannot be called full-fledged cities. If we rank among larger settlements, Yakutsk will become the leader. It is the largest city built on permafrost — it is home to more than 336 thousand people. True, unlike many other settlements in Siberia, in Yakutsk most houses are built on stilts. Therefore, they are not afraid of thaws in the summer, when the permafrost begins to thaw.

The temperature here reaches -60 degrees Celsius, and local residents claim that they have experienced even more severe frosts. True, these statements have not been confirmed, but in any case, in winter there are more severe frosts than those that the explorer Ernest Shackleton complained about in Antarctica. Therefore, it is difficult to imagine that not polar explorers live in such conditions during an expedition, but hundreds of thousands of ordinary people throughout their lives.

The coldest city on Earth. In Yakutsk the temperature drops to -60 degrees. Photo source: nesiditsa.ru. Photo.

In Yakutsk, the temperature drops to -60 degrees. Photo source: nesiditsa.ru

How people live in the coldest city on Earth

For many people, even frosts of -30 -35 degrees Celsius seem like an incredible cataclysm, in which life literally “stops.” But how do local residents withstand temperatures down to -50 -60 degrees? It can be assumed that they often get sick and die from various colds, since mortality from colds usually always increases during severe frosts in European cities.

However, a study published in the journal BMJ found that mortality rates do not actually increase as temperatures drop. The thing is that local residents are already accustomed to such conditions and know how to dress so as not to freeze and die. As you might guess, they wear a lot of clothes and wrap themselves in furs. Nevertheless, the frost still has a strong impact on the peculiarities of life in this city.

For example, drivers here do not turn off their cars in winter. If the engine stalls for at least 20 minutes, it will not be possible to start it until the weather warms up. Moreover, no tricks of motorists will help with this, since the oil in the engine freezes. Since car engines run around the clock in the city, there is smog in the city from exhaust fumes.

How people live in the coldest city on Earth. Yakutsk on the map. Photo.

Yakutsk on the map

Of course, constantly running engines are not the only problem. For example, people are buried here the same way as everywhere else – coffins are buried in the ground. However, digging a two-meter hole in permafrost is not an easy task. The procedure usually takes several days. First, a fire is lit in the area of ​​the future grave. After a few hours, the coals are removed, and a hole is dug in the melted soil, usually no more than 15 cm deep. Then hot coals are thrown into the hole and the process is repeated. In this way, a hole is dug until its depth reaches 2 meters, as reported by bbc.com.

Why is it so cold in Yakutsk

High latitude — not the only reason for the extreme cold in Yakutsk. The snow and ice cover of Siberia, which reflects solar energy and retains the cold, plays a certain role in this. In addition, the city is located quite far from the sea. Let us remind you that continents, unlike the ocean, quickly heat up and cool down quickly, that is, they do not accumulate heat during the summer.

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Several factors combine to create a large, semi-permanent high-pressure zone in winter known as the “Siberian High.” An area with high pressure has more stable air masses, low humidity and no clouds. By the way, heat domes are formed using the same principle in other parts of the planet, only they are characterized not by extremely low, but, on the contrary, by very high temperatures.