Earth’s Cold Region

Where do you think the coldest place on Earth is? It’s not Minnesota or Wisconsin. Nope. Think further south.


Fun Facts

  • American scientists at NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey have been using remote sensing satellites to find the coldest place on earth.
  • They believe it is a high ridge on the East Antarctica Plateau where temperatures regularly dip below 133 degrees Fahrenheit. Brrr!
  • Previously, another location in Antarctica, home to the Russian Vostok Research Station, recorded a low temperature of -128 degrees.
  • Northeastern Siberia has the coldest recorded temperatures in an area where people live. Temperatures here have dipped to 90 degrees below zero.
  • The coldest place in the U.S. is Fairbanks, Alaska, which has an average minimum temperature of 16 degrees below zero. Behind Fairbanks, cities in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan ranked as the coldest in America.
  • Let’s put all these numbers in perspective. Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Most schools hold indoor recess when temperatures drop below 20 degrees. You probably feel comfortable in shirt sleeves when temperatures are above 60 degrees. 50 degrees and below, and you’ll want a jacket or coat. For most folks, anything below 32 degrees feels cold. Now imagine 133 degrees below zero!



  1. Minimum: the least or lowest
  2. Perspective: to understand in context


Questions and Answers

Question: If Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth, what is the hottest?

Answer: Death Valley, in California, holds the world record for the hottest temperature of 133 degrees Fahrenheit.

Learn More

Does liquid always freeze at 32 degrees? Visit the Smithsonian to find out.