Earth is a massive planet. In some areas, extreme temperatures are experienced temperatures are experienced. Have you ever wondered where the coldest places on the planet are? If you want to visit the coldest place on the planet, simply head south—all the way south! Antarctica can brag about being the coldest, driest, and windiest continent on the planet. Since 2013, when NASA satellites first recorded temperatures there, this East Antarctic Plateau high ridge has held the title of “world’s coldest place,” but it’s been steadily getting colder. The lowest recorded temperature in 2013 was -133.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but it now appears to have dropped to -135.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Antarctica is the world’s southernmost continent, located almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle. It is surrounded by the Southern Ocean and contains the South Pole. 98% of Antarctica is covered in ice that is nearly a mile thick. Antarctica is classified as a desert because it receives only about eight inches of precipitation per year. Have you ever imagined a desert covered in ice?
Antarctica’s cold temperatures and overall climate make it a difficult place to live. Antarctica has no permanent human residents. During any given year, however, between 1,000 and 5,000 people live in Antarctica in research stations while conducting scientific experiments. -95 degrees Fahrenheit can cause frostbite in under two minutes, according to National Weather Service data.
Temperatures in Antarctica can vary dramatically throughout the year. Temperatures in the winter can drop to -112° F or lower. Temperatures near the coast can reach nearly F in the summer. Despite the cold temperatures, sunburn is a major health concern in Antarctica all year. That is correct! Because the snow and ice reflect almost all of the ultraviolet light that falls on the surface of Antarctica, sunscreen is essential all year.
Those at the coldest point on Earth are at substantially lower temperatures than those in some parts of Mars, a planet far further from the Sun than Earth. During the winter months, temperatures on Mars average -81 degrees Fahrenheit, but near the poles, they plummet to a frigid -220 degrees.