Top Ten Extreme Destinations

Some people push life to the limits, seeking out locations from the pages of Guinness World Records like they are a packing to-do list. These ten destinations represent the most extreme climates in the world and offer unparalleled stories once you land back on home turf.
By Jodi Helmer
Oymyakon, Russia
The ground in Oymyakon, Russia, is permanently frozen due to extreme subarctic temperatures. (Luciano Napolitano)

Coldest: Oymyakon, Russia
Guinness World Records has awarded the title of the coldest inhabited place on earth to Oymyakon, Russia. The nearly 4,000 people who live in the Siberian village routinely bundle up for average winter temperatures of minus 49 degrees F. In 1933, Oymyakon set the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded outside of Antarctica, a chilling minus 90 degrees F.

Residents of this tiny town appear to have a sense of humor about the cold: Oymyakon means "non-freezing water" and ironically is situated near a natural hot spring.

The official record for the coldest place on earth goes to Vostok, Antarctica. On July 21, 1983, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center recorded temperatures of minus 129 degrees F. But aside from the rotating groups of scientists that spend brief stints conducting research on the earth's southernmost continent, Antarctica has no permanent residents.


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