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06 July 2011

10 Coldest Places on Earth Where People Actually Live

If you’re like me you are okay with some cold weather. Seasonal changes are great and break up the monotony. Living where it’s always hot or always cold would get really boring I would think. When you think of really hot places you think of the desert. A desert is considered to be a place that receives less than 10 inches of rain annually. When you think of really cold places you might think of Antarctica, but do people really live there? Check out 10 coldest places on earth where people actually live.

Oymyaken, Russia: The temperature stays around 30 degrees below zero here. You’ve heard about secret agents that mess up getting sent to Siberia? This is the place they are talking about. This area is in the Northeast corner of Yakutia a republic in Russia an area in Siberia about the size of India. This area holds the record for the lowest temperature ever recorded by humans at 96.16 degrees below zero. A nomadic people live in this region and herd reindeer.

Northice and Eismitte, Greenland: Temperatures of minus 50 are often seen in this region. Living in an area like this is challenging for more reasons than you’d think. Did you know that when it’s this cold that ink in a ballpoint pen will freeze? How about gasoline, it freezes at –150, but if it has water in it then it will freeze at a higher temperature. Children living there can only play outside for 20 minutes before having to come in to prevent their lungs from freezing. The people in this area have adapted to the cold. These areas were sites of different expeditions to the area. Northice actually started out as North Ice and Eismitte translates to Ice Center in German. The sun does not set between May 13 and July 30th each year and it does not rise between Nov. 23 and Jan. 20.

Whitehorse, Canada: The population is 30,400 here and the temperatures a just a few degrees warmer than Northice, Greenland. Whitehorse is located in the Northwest Territory of Yukon in Canada, just East of Alaska. Native Americans mostly populate this area and the city came about from the fur trade in the late 1800’s. The Yukon tribe made a claim on the land that was recognized by the government in 1991. In 1896 a mining group found gold in this area and that started the Klondike gold rush, which ended when the gold ran out in 1910.

International Falls, MN: This is one of the coldest places to live in the United States. Typical lows in the winter would be minus 32. Lows have been seen as low as minus 55 degrees. One of the biggest industries in this area is logging and products involving wood. International Falls is right on the border of Canada and connects with a bridge where the Canadian Customs waits on the other side. Strangely enough tourism is their second largest money generator. They boast many winter sports such as ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and others. Auto manufacturers also use this area as a great testing ground for how well their cars do in the winter. The population is 6424.

Prospect Creek, AK: The coldest temperature ever recorded in the United States was in Prospect Creek, AK in January 1971 the temperature was minus 94. In the 1970’s approximately 20,000 people lived here while working on the Trans-Alaska pipeline. Since 1977 when the pipeline was completed there hasn’t been much going on in this area. The occasional mining expedition may go through here, but today this area is considered uninhabited. Although, if you travel 25 miles to the Northwest you will arrive in Bettles, AK, population 43.

Dras, India: This area receives so much snow that it is cut off from the rest of the region for several months of the year. It’s winter lows are normally –31 degrees. The lowest recorded temperature was minus58 degrees. Dras is most noted for the Kargil War, which was fought in 1999. The war was fought between Pakistan and India. The war was over who controlled national highway 1D. This is a very harsh region during the winter, but reaches the upper 80’s during the summer.

Verkhoyansk, Russia: The population is around 1300 with most people being fur traders or reindeer herders. Similar to Oymyaken it’s located in Stalin’s Death Ring. Stalin used to send the political exiles to this region to work on Kolyma highway. It was such a harsh region that it is said that 1 prisoner died for every meter of the highway. The road is 2000km long. The locals call it the “road of bones”. The coldest temperature recorded here was minus 93.6 degrees in 1892.

Yakutsk, Russia: This is noted as the coldest city in the world with a population of 210,000. The ground never thaws here and temperatures have been measured as cold as minus 84. Frostbite can occur after only a few minutes in these temperatures.
Snag, Canada: The lowest temperature here was minus 81.4 degrees. Snag is not far from Whitehorse. When this temperature was measured the area was inhabited about a dozen fur traders and 8-10 native people at the airport and it got so cold that the thermometer didn’t even go that low they had to modify it.

Grise Fiord, Canada: With a population of 141 this extremely cold area reaches lows of minus 80 degrees. This town was formed during the Cold War to claim their rights in the high arctic. The population was made up of native Americans and they were promised game to hunt and other things and they weren’t provided so they were promised relocation in a year, but once Canada found out it would damage their claims on the area if they were to move these people the offer to relocate was taken back. The tribe realized they could hunt whales and were able to stay there. Much later an official apology was issued to these people and they or their descendants were compensated monetarily.

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