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This article was first published 10 years ago

PHOTOS: Surviving the coldest places on earth

January 08, 2014 08:52 IST

Image: A general view of the Vostock research camp in Antarctica. Russian scientists are close to drilling into the prehistoric sub-glacier Lake Vostok, which has been trapped under Antarctic ice for 14 million years.
Photographs: Alexey Ekaikin/Handout/Reuters

A blast of Arctic air gripped the United States with the coldest temperatures in two decades bringing life to a standstill. With temperatures as low as minus 51 degrees Celsius, the National Weather Service issued warnings for life-threatening wind chills in western and central North Dakota.

As the savage Arctic blast threatens the coldest weather in the United States, looks at some of the coldest places in the world with record-setting low temperatures.

Vostok, Antarctica (-89.2 degree C)

Currently holding the world record for the lowest temperature ever directly recorded at ground level on Earth is -89.2 C at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica, on July 21, 1983. 

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Mount McKinley, Alaska (-73.8 degree C)

Image: Undated handout photo courtesy of the National Park Service shows mountaineers at Mount McKinley in Alaska
Photographs: National Park Service/Handout/Reuters

The highest peak in North America, Mount McKinley is considered the coldest mountain on earth.

In winter the air temperatures fall to -40 degree C.

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Klinck research station, Greenland (-69.4 degree C)

Image: NASA's new Earth-bound rover, GROVER, which stands for both Greenland Rover and Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, in Summit Camp, the highest spot in Greenland
Photographs: NASA/Handout/Reuters

Located within the Arctic Circle the Klinck research station recorded temperatures as low as -69.4 degree C. 

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Verkhoyansk, Russia (-67.778 degree C)

Image: Clouds stretch in parallel rows for hundreds of kilometers over the Bering Sea in this NASA handout photo
Photographs: NASA/Handout/Reuters

Mean monthly temperatures in this region of Russia stay below freezing from October through April. In 1892, an all-time low of minus -67.778 degree C was recorded. 

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Oymyakon, Russia (-67.7 degree C)

Image: Smoke rises above houses in the village of Maralayi, in the Republic of Sakha, northeast Russia. The coldest temperatures in the northern hemisphere have been recorded in Sakha, the location of the Oymyakon valley,
Photographs: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

On Febraury 6, 1933, Oymyakon, Russia recorded -67.7C. 

Oymyakon is known as one of the candidates for the Northern Pole of Cold. The ground there is permanently frozen (continuous permafrost).

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North Ice, Greenland (-66 degree C)

Image: Sea ice of Greenland is pictured as captured by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite
Photographs: NASA/Reuters

A research station of the British North Greenland Expedition (1952 to 1954) on the inland ice of Greenland, North Ice recorded the lowest temperature of - 66 degree C ever in North America on January 9, 1954.

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Yakutsk, Russia (-64.4 degree C)

Image: A child, with eyelashes covered with hoarfrost, is seen along a street in the eastern Siberian city of Yakutsk in Sakha (Yakutia) Republic
Photographs: Viktor Everstov/Reuters

Yakutsk, the largest city built on continuous permafrost, in the month of February 1891 experienced temperatures that dipped to as low as -64.4 degree C.

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Snag, Yukon, Canada (-63 degree C)

Image: Lowell glacier in Kluane National Park near Haines Junction, Yukon
Photographs: Sean Kilpatrick/Reuters

Snag is located in southwest Yukon near the Alaska Highway holds the record for the lowest recorded temperature in Canada with a low of -63 degree C recorded on February 3, 1947.

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Barrow, Alaska

Image: The crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter Healy, in the midst of their ICESCAPE mission, retrieves supplies for some mid-mission fixes dropped by parachute from a C-130 in the Arctic Ocean
Photographs: NASA/Handout/Reuters

Just 1,300 miles south of the North Pole and 320 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Barrow is the northernmost city in the United States. The small city of 4,581 experiences super cold and windy winters.

The sun sets at the end of November and doesn't reappear until the end of January.

The mean temperature doesn't break out of freezing until June and even then only barely does -- the average mean for July is only 4.6667 degree C.

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