12 Coldest Countries In The World

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Apparently, there are three levels of “hot” in Malaysia. First, we have “panas”. Then, we have “panas gila”. Last but not least, we also have “panas gila babi”. And when temperatures hit “panas gila babi”, sometimes all we wish for is a little reprieve in cold countries. And just how cold are we going? What do you think of temperatures dropping to almost -70°C ? If you’re up for experiencing extreme cold (but don’t stay out too long), here’s a list of 12 coldest countries in the world!

1) Estonia

Lowest recorded temperature: -43.5°C

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The lowest recorded temperature aside, Estonia’s annual average temperature is actually 5.2°C, whereas the average temperature during its coldest season is -5.7°C . However, what makes its winter seem even colder than it is is its precipitation. In Estonia, there is more precipitation than evaporation, and rain (snow) can occur at random. One would have to be prepared at all times!

2) Greenland

Lowest recorded temperature: -66°C

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Did you think that Greenland was all sunshine and daisies, and green pastures that went on and on? Sorry to burst your bubble, but Greenland is cold. In fact, even during summer time, the average temperature usually does not exceed 10°C, though in certain areas temperature can go up to 20°C in June, July and August. However, Greenland is known for its quality air – one of the best in the world, actually!

3) Iceland

Lowest recorded temperature: -39.7°C

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Yep, Iceland is warmer than Greenland, and its summer actually sees greenery! Though in winter it is quite literally the embodiment of its name, in warmer weather Iceland’s moist air is helpful for vegetation, so that’s why greenery is more abundant here than in Greenland, whose air is actually very dry.

4) China

Lowest recorded temperature: -58°C

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Brand me as geographically inept, but I didn’t know that China’s temperatures could drop so low. Granted, the -58°C is a record low, but still. China is a large country, so the weather could vary greatly from area to area. The northeastern part (Manchuria) is one of the coldest regions, with average temperatures during winter at -10°C to -20°C .

5) Finland

Lowest recorded temperature: -51.5°C

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Also, here’s another fun fact: Finland is the happiest country in the world as of 2019. Let’s not get into that (that could be another article), but with its punishing temperatures come good things. First off: sleigh rides! Choose your animal: huskies or reindeers! Besides that, skiing – and you can do so under the Northern Lights or Midnight Sun if you’re lucky!

6) Russia

Lowest recorded temperature: -88°C

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I’m sorry but ????? My mind stopped working for a while there trying to imagine just how cold -88°C must be! *shivers and shudders* Russia is notorious for its freezing temperatures, and people actually live in Oymyakom, where the mind-numbing all-time low temperature was recorded.

7) USA

Lowest recorded temperature: -62.2°C

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Let’s just say USA can go both ways – the highest recorded temperature in USA is at 56.7°C. But let’s go back to the cold. The -62.2°C temperature was recorded in Alaska, and its average winter temperature is still sub-zero, though thankfully not more than -20°C . As with other large countries, temperature and weather in each area varies.

8) Kazakhstan

Lowest recorded temperature: -57°C

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Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country, and also a transcontinental country, which means geographically it is both part of Asia and Europe. Winters are extremely cold almost everywhere nationwide, while summers can be scorching. In Kazakhstan, you’d need a varied wardrobe for the changing seasons!

9) Canada

Lowest recorded temperature: -63°C

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When cold countries are mentioned, Canada is actually one of the countries that comes to mind most readily. And we wouldn’t be wrong, because winter temperatures in Canada are also at sub-zero on average. But that means that it’s perfect for celebrating a White Christmas; with Quebec City being one of the more well-known spots!

10) Sweden

Lowest recorded temperature: -53°C

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The good thing about having cold winters is that you get to engage in lots of winter activities, including a winter horse tour in Sweden. Depending on (non-riding) individuals, horse riding could be downright scary or super exciting, and if you’re one of the latter, riding a horse through snow is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss! Nationwide, winter temperatures average from -15°C  to 0°C – perfect winter wonderland!

11) Mongolia

Lowest recorded temperature: -55.3°C

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Yes, and also Ulaanbaatar, its capital, is the coldest capital city in the world. When it has an annual average temperature of -1.3°C and five months of the year are sub-zero, it’s no surprise that Ulaanbaatar snagged the title. Before you hurtle off to Ulaanbaatar though, do take note that it has very serious air pollution due to all the coal burning they use to keep warm.

12) Norway

Lowest recorded temperature: -51.4°C

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If you pretend you haven’t seen the lowest recorded temperature, Norway actually seems like a pretty temperate country. Winter averages at 2°C and summer never goes beyond 27°C. That’s pretty great! You could check out Tromsø, a city in northern Norway famed as a viewpoint for Northern Lights as well as for Christmas celebrations!

And if you’re wondering why we haven’t included Antarctica on the list, well… it’s because technically Antarctica isn’t a country. But if you want to know, its lowest recorded temperature is -89.2°C, though there are other unofficial records of temperatures reaching -93°C. And that is why Antarctica isn’t inhabitable permanently: its average “summer” temperature is just around 0°C, though good to know it can go above 0°C – its highest recorded temperature is 17.5°C.