Coldest known place on Earth found

Valleys in the East Antarctica Plateau reaches an astounding -98°C (-144°F)
coldest place antarctic plateau On second thought, maybe we'll stay in today. (© Darryn Schneider |

Summer officially started on June 21, but not everything in Canada is so warm and fuzzy. This past Tuesday, June 26, it snowed in parts of Newfoundland. And not just a little either—we're talking a few centimetres! Now, in the middle of winter, that's a light dusting in that part of the country. But only a few days from summer break?

Come on, we're trying to open a pool here!

Let's just say that we all feel your pain, Newfoundland. And to prove it, we'd like to give you a little perspective to help you while you wait for things to get back to normal.

After all, you could live on the East Antarctic Plateau.

Suddenly snow in June doesn't sound so bad

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Okay, it doesn't take a genius to know that Antarctica is colder than Newfoundland. Especially right now, when the southern continent is in the middle of the endless night that is Antarctic winter. But, a recent discovery should make us even more grateful than usual for our cheery climate. New research confirms that certain valleys on the East Antarctic Plateau are the coldest known places on the planet. Just how cold are we talking here?

How does -98°C (-144°F) strike you?

So cold it hurts

We understand that numbers like that can be a little difficult to comprehend. At a certain point, super-cold is super cold, right? Not in this case.

In a temperature this frigid, even breathing is dangerous. That's because the air being brought inside your body could literally freeze parts of your throat and lungs. At the very least, it would be extremely painful.

This means that on the super-cold spectrum, it is about 50 degrees colder than even the coldest permanently inhabited civilizations in the world. These would be places like Yakutsk, Russia, the so-called coldest city on Earth, where this stuff happens on the reg.

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That's water freezing instantly as it hits the air. So yeah, 50 degrees colder than that.

Who's ready for summer?

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