The hottest and coldest places on Earth

February 5, 2019

It’s been getting a little chilly outside, but while we’ve been seeing flurries of snow and braving the brisk wintry weather, the recent cold snap has nothing on some of the coldest places on the planet.

As the keen scientists we are, we love to explore the science of temperature and our Fire v. Ice show does just that. Taking place in our Science Theatre, we’ll be exploring the dangers of fire and the chilling truth about liquid nitrogen in an exciting and immersive family show.

As we uncover the scientific extremes of hot and cold, we’re going to look at places which endure some of the most dramatic temperatures in the world. Here are the top 3 hottest and coldest places on Earth. Would you dare book a flight to one of these radical destinations?

Burning up…

3. Dallol, Ethiopia

Coming in third on our hot list is this geographical wonderland of acidic hot springs, sub-aerial volcanoes and salt formations. Reaching temperatures of 46°C in the summer, the visually stunning bright colours come with scorching thermometer readings.

2. Aziziyah, Libya

The former capital of the Jafara district used to hold the title of hottest place on Earth. However, it was stripped of its title in 2012 after meteorologists declared record breaking temperature readings invalid. With temperatures regularly hitting 48°C in summer, it’s probably still best to bring your sun cream.

1. Death Valley, California, USA

This beautiful National park holds the record for the hottest air temperature ever recorded. In 1913, the desert reached a phenomenal 56.7°C. The scorching weather continues to this day, with 2016 seeing a high of 52°C, making the area one of the most extreme hiking destinations in the world.

Freezing over…

3. Verkhoyansk, Russia

One of the coldest places on Earth, this small town has still recorded a population of 1,311 people. The lowest recorded temperature is -67°C, making the area the coldest inhabited place in the world. It also holds the Guinness World Record of the greatest temperature range on earth at 105°C. The area is so inhospitable, and (not so fun fact) – Stalin used to send his political exiles there, earning the area the nickname ‘Stalin’s Death Ring’.

2. Eismitte, Greenland

This site for an Arctic exhibition, also called Mid-Ice, is located in central Greenland. The 1930 expedition to the base tragically claimed the life of celebrated German Scientist Alfred Wegener. One of the coldest places on Earth, temperatures have recently dropped as low as -65°C.

1. Vostok, Antarctica

Unsurprisingly, Antarctica tops our list of coldest places on earth. Although the continent is almost entirely desert, it’s so cold that when it does rain it does not melt. The ice is up to 4km thick in some places. The Russian research station Vostok, set up in 1957, was the destination of the lowest recorded natural temperature: -89.2°C. Remember your thermals!

That’s a wrap! Explore the extremes of hot and cold at Techniquest with Fire v. Ice but be quick though, the last show takes place this weekend.


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  •   What is Techniquest?

    Techniquest is an educational charity, with a science centre in Cardiff Bay. Our mission is to embed science in Welsh culture through interactive engagement. We provide a range of services to schools and teachers to complement formal education provision in Wales and work extensively with public audiences.

  •   Where can I park?

    We are pleased to be able to offer all of our visitors discounted parking with Q-Park, our preferred parking partner.

    The Q-Park operates the Cardiff Bay car park in Pierhead Street which is around 8 minutes walk from Techniquest.

    We have agreed a special discount rate for our customers of 15% off all pre-bookings.
    Pre-book and guarantee your space here using the code TECHNI15.

    There are also nearby pay-and-display car parks on Stuart Street and Havannah Street. Please do not park on Havannah Street itself.

    We regret that there is no parking on-site at Techniquest.

  •   Who is it for?

    Techniquest is suitable for all ages! We do have special events for certain groups, however — see Toddler Days and Home Educator days.

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    Please see our dedicated FAQ page.

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