8 Coldest Destinations in the World

The coldest inhabited and visited cities on the planet

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

If you think you’re cold now, crank up the heat and throw on another scarf — these destinations have such extreme temperatures, they’ll make your refrigerator feel like the Caribbean. And no, they’re not just hard-to-pronounce, uninhabited lands in Greenland, either — they are hard-to-pronounce, inhabited parts of Russia, Norway, Canada, and the U.S. From high peaks to the world's northernmost regions, these cold locations are bone chilling just to think about, with temperatures that garner them nicknames like "Icebox of the Nation" and "Frostbite Falls."

Click here to see the World’s 8 Coldest Destinations Slideshow.

The coldest city on the planet is an honor held by Yakutsk, Russia, which, despite having a subarctic climate and temperatures that regularly reach lows like -40 F in the fall, has a population of more than 200,000 frozen denizens. And high in the Yukon in Canada, Whitehorse also has a subarctic climate with an annual average high temperature of 40 F and record lows that reach down to a numbing -62 F. Brazen visitors to the remote town, which meets the Bering Sea, can visit many different museums and arts centers before having to retreat inside for warm and comforting eats. Here in the U.S., there are two towns fighting to be called the official Icebox of the Nation: International Falls, Minn., and Fraser, Colo., which have dueling record lows of around -55 F in any given year.

In places as cold as these, people have to learn to survive minor day-to-day chores like running to the corner store, wearing glasses outdoors (wear them outside and they’ll freeze to your face, pulling your skin off if you try to remove them), and letting kids play outside for no more than 20 minutes to keep their lungs from freezing. So before you start complaining about tomorrow’s wintry forecast, be grateful that temperatures in your area aren’t reading -20 F or below.

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