Extremes on Earth

This article lists extreme locations on Earth that hold geographical records or are otherwise known for their geophysical or meteorological superlatives. All of these locations are Earth-wide extremes; extremes of individual continents or countries are not listed.

Latitude and longitude



Easternmost and westernmost

Longest grid lines

Along constant latitude

Along constant longitude

Along any geodesic

These are the longest straight lines that can be drawn between any two points on the surface of the Earth and remain exclusively over land or water; the points need not lie on the same line of latitude or longitude.

Along any diameter (straight line passing through the centre of the Earth)

As distinct from geodesic lines, which appear straight only when projected onto the spheroidal surface of the Earth (i.e. arcs of great circles), straight lines passing through the Earth's centre can be constructed through the interior of the Earth between almost any two points on the surface of the Earth (some extreme topographical situations such as overhanging cliffs being the rare exceptions[citation needed]). A line projected from the summit of Cayambe in Ecuador (see highest points) through the axial centre of the Earth to its antipode on the island of Sumatra results in the longest diameter that can be produced anywhere through the Earth. As the variable circumference of the Earth approaches 40,000 kilometres (25,000 mi), such a maximum "diameter" or "antipodal" line would be on the order of 13,000 kilometres (8,000 mi) long.[citation needed]


Highest points

While Everest is Earth's highest elevation (green) and Mauna Kea is tallest from its base (orange), Cayambe is farthest from Earth's axis (pink) and Chimborazo is farthest from Earth's centre (blue). Not to scale
The summit of Chimborazo in Ecuador is the farthest point from Earth's centre.
  • The highest point on Earth's surface measured from sea level is the summit of Mount Everest, on the border of Nepal and China. While measurements of its height vary slightly, the elevation of its peak was most recently established in 2020 by the Nepali and Chinese authorities as 8,848.86 m (29,031.7 ft) above sea level. The summit was first reached probably by Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa of Nepal in 1953.
  • The point farthest from Earth's centre is the summit of Chimborazo in Ecuador, at 6,384.4 km (3,967.1 mi) from Earth's centre; the peak's elevation relative to sea level is 6,263.47 m (20,549 ft). Because Earth is an oblate spheroid rather than a perfect sphere, it is wider at the equator and narrower toward each pole. Therefore, the summit of Chimborazo, which is near the Equator, is farther away from Earth's centre than the summit of Mount Everest is; the latter is 2,168 m (7,112.9 ft) closer, at 6,382.3 km (3,965.8 mi) from Earth's centre. Peru's Huascarán (at 6,384.4 m or 20,946 ft) contends closely with Chimborazo, though the former is a mere 10 m (33 ft) closer to the Earth's centre.
  • The fastest point on Earth or, in other words, the point farthest from Earth's rotational axis is the summit of Cayambe in Ecuador, which rotates around Earth's axis at a speed of 1,675.89 km/h (1,041.35 mph) and is 6,383.95 km (3,966.80 mi) from the axis. Like Chimborazo, which is the fourth-fastest peak at 1,675.47 km/h (1,041.09 mph), Cayambe is close to the Equator and takes advantage of the oblate spheroid figure of Earth. More important, however, Cayambe's proximity to the Equator means that the majority of its distance from the Earth's centre contributes to Cayambe's distance from the Earth's axis.

Highest geographical features

Highest points attainable by transportation

  • The highest point accessible
    • by land vehicle is an elevation of 6,688 m (21,942 ft) on Ojos del Salado in Chile, which was reached by the Chilean duo of Gonzalo and Eduardo Canales Moya on 21 April 2007 with a modified Suzuki Samurai, setting the high-altitude record for a four-wheeled vehicle.
    • by road (dead end) is on a mining road to the summit of Aucanquilcha in Chile, which reaches an elevation of 6,176 m (20,262 ft). It was once usable by 20-tonne mining trucks. The road is no longer usable. 21°12′50″S 68°28′30″W / 21.214°S 68.475°W / -21.214; -68.475
    • by road (mountain pass) is disputed; there are a number of competing claims for this title due to the definition of "motorable pass" (i.e. a surfaced road or one simply passable by a vehicle):
      • The highest asphalted road is the single-lane road to Umling La, located 17 km (11 mi) west of Demchok in Ladakh, India, which reaches 5,800 m (19,029 ft) ("19,300 feet" according to a Border Roads Organisation sign there that recognizes it as the "World's Highest Motorable Pass"). Before the asphalting of the road over Umling La, the highest asphalted road was Tibet's Semo La pass at 5,565 m (18,258 ft). It is used by trucks and buses regularly. The Ticlio pass, on the Central Road of Peru, is the highest surfaced road in the Americas, at an elevation of 4,818 m (15,807 ft).
      • The highest unsurfaced road has several different claimants. All are unsurfaced or gravel roads including Mana Pass, between India and Tibet, which is crossed by a gravel road reaching 5,610 m (18,406 ft). The heavily trafficked Khardung La in Ladakh lies at 5,359 m (17,582 ft). A possibly motorable gravel road crosses Marsimik La in Ladakh at 5,582 m (18,314 ft).
    • by train is Tanggula Pass, located on the Qinghai–Tibet (Qingzang) Railway in the Tanggula Mountains of Qinghai/Tibet, China, at 5,072 m (16,640 ft). The Tanggula railway station is the world's highest railway station at 5,068 m (16,627 ft). Before the Qingzang Railway was built, the highest railway ran between Lima and Huancayo in Peru, reaching 4,829 m (15,843 ft) at Ticlio.
    • by oceangoing vessel is a segment of the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal between the Hilpoltstein and Bachhausen locks in Bavaria, Germany. The locks artificially raise the surface level of the water in the canal to 406 m (1,332 ft) above mean sea level, higher than any other lock system in the world, making it the highest point currently accessible by oceangoing commercial watercraft.
La Rinconada, Peru
  • The highest commercial airport is Daocheng Yading Airport, Sichuan, China, at 4,411 m (14,472 ft). The proposed Nagqu Dagring Airport in Tibet, if built, will be 25 m (82 ft) higher at 4,436 m (14,554 ft).
  • The highest helipad is Sonam, Siachen Glacier, India, at a height of 6,400 m (20,997 ft) above sea level.
  • The highest permanent human settlement is La Rinconada, Peru, 5,100 m (16,732 ft), in the Peruvian Andes.
  • The farthest road from the Earth's centre is the Road to Carrel Hut in the Ecuadorian Andes, at an elevation of 4,850 m (15,912 ft) above sea level and a distance of 6,382.9 km (3,966 mi) from the centre of the Earth.

Lowest points

Lowest natural points

The shore of the Dead Sea in Israel
  • The lowest point on dry land is the shore of the Dead Sea, shared by Israel and Jordan, 432.65 m (1,419 ft) below sea level. As the Dead Sea waters are receding, the water surface level drops more than 1 metre (3.3 ft) per year.
  • The point on the atmospheric surface closest to the Earth's centre (interpreted as a natural surface of the land or sea that is accessible by a person) is the surface of the Arctic Ocean at the Geographic North Pole (6,356.77 km or 3,950 mi).
    • The point on the surface of Earth's crust closest to the Earth's centre (interpreted as a land surface or sea floor) is the bottom of Litke Deep, in the Arctic Ocean, at 6,351.7043 km (3,947 mi) from Earth's centre; the deep's depth relative to sea level is 5,449 m (17,877 ft). Because Earth is an oblate spheroid rather than a perfect sphere, it is wider at the equator and narrower toward each pole. Therefore, the bottom of Litke Deep, which is near the North Pole, is closer to Earth's centre than the bottom of Challenger Deep is; the latter is 14.7268 km (48,316.3 ft) further, at 6,366.4311 km (3,955.9 mi) from Earth's centre. Molloy Deep, also in Arctic Ocean (at 6,357.5178 km or 3,950 mi) from Earth's centre contends closely with Litke Deep, the difference from Earth's centre being just 389 m (1,276 ft).
    • The point on the ocean surface farthest below sea level is located in the Indian Ocean, about 1,200 km (750 mi) southwest of India, the Indian Ocean Geoid Low, about 106 m (348 ft) below the global mean sea level.

Lowest artificial points

Lowest points attainable by transportation

  • The lowest point accessible:
    • by road, excluding roads in mines, is any of the roads alongside the Dead Sea in Israel and Jordan, which are the lowest on Earth at 418 m (1,371 ft) below sea level.
      • The lowest undersea highway tunnel is the Ryfast tunnel in Norway, at 292 m (958 ft) below sea level.
    • by train, excluding tracks in mines, is located in the Seikan Tunnel in Japan, at 240 m (787 ft) below sea level. For comparison, the undersea Channel Tunnel between England and France reaches a depth of 115 m (377 ft) below sea level.
    • by ship, is located in the Indian Ocean, about 1,200 km (750 mi) southwest of India, the Indian Ocean Geoid Low, about 106 m (348 ft) below the global mean sea level.
    • Some mines have roads accessible from outside or rail tracks, located more than two thousand metres below sea level, for example in some South African gold mines.
  • The lowest railroad station was formerly the Japanese Yoshioka-Kaitei Station, at 150 m (492 ft) below sea level, but it closed in 2014. The lowest railroad station not inside a tunnel is 120 m (394 ft) below sea level, at Beit She'an railway station in Israel.[citation needed]
  • The lowest airfield is the Bar Yehuda Airfield, near Masada, Israel, at 378 m (1,240 ft) below sea level.
  • The lowest international airport is Atyrau Airport, near Atyrau, Kazakhstan, at 22 m (72 ft) below sea level, in the basin of the Caspian Sea.
  • The lowest major city is Baku, Azerbaijan, located 28 m (92 ft) below sea level, which makes it the lowest-lying national capital in the world and also the largest city in the world located below sea level.

Table of extreme elevations and air temperatures by continent

Continent Elevation (height above/below sea level)A Air temperature (recorded)B
Highest Lowest Highest Lowest
Africa 5,893 m (19,334 feet)
Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
−155 m (−509 feet)
Lake Assal, Djibouti
55 °C (131 °F)
Kebili, French Tunisia
7 July 1931C
−23.9 °C (−11.0 °F)
Ifrane, French Morocco
11 February 1935
Antarctica 4,892 m (16,050 feet)
Vinson Massif
−50 m (−164 feet)
Deep Lake, Vestfold Hills
(compare the deepest ice section below)
20.75 °C (69.35 °F)
Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station
9 February 2020
−89.2 °C (−128.6 °F)
Vostok Station

21 July 1983
Asia 8,848.86 m (29,032 feet)
Mount Everest, Tibet-Nepal Border
−424 m (−1,391 feet)
Dead Sea, Israel-Jordan-Palestine
54 °C (129 °F)
Tirat Zvi, Israel (then in the British Mandate of Palestine)
21 June 1942
−67.7 °C (−89.9 °F) Measured
Oymyakon, Siberia, Soviet Union
6 February 1933
54 °C (129 °F)
Ahvaz Airport, Iran
29 June 2017
−71.2 °C (−96.2 °F) Extrapolated
Oymyakon, Siberia, Soviet Union
26 January 1926
Europe 5,642 m (18,510 feet)
Mount Elbrus, Russian Federation
−28 m (−92 feet)
Caspian Sea shore, Russian Federation
48.8 °C

(119.8 °F) Floridia, Italy 11 August 2021

−58.1 °C (−72.6 °F)
Ust-Shchuger, Soviet Union
31 December 1978
North America 6,190.5 m (20,310 feet)
Denali (Mount McKinley), Alaska, United States
−85 m (−279 feet)
Badwater Basin, California, United States
56.7 °C (134 °F)
Greenland Ranch (Furnace Creek), California, United States
10 July 1913
-69.6 °C

(-93.3 °F) Summit Camp, Greenland
22 December 1991

Oceania 4,884 m (16,024 feet)
Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid), Indonesia
(compare Mount Wilhelm, Aoraki / Mount Cook and Mount Kosciuszko)
−15 m (−49 feet)
Lake Eyre, South Australia, Australia
50.7 °C (123.3 °F)
Oodnadatta, South Australia, Australia
2 January 1960G

50.7 °C (123.3 °F)
Onslow, Western Australia, Australia

13 January 2022

−25.6 °C (−14.1 °F)
Ranfurly, Otago, New Zealand
17 July 1903
South America 6,962 m (22,841 feet)
Aconcagua, Mendoza, Argentina
−105 m (−344 feet)
Laguna del Carbón, Argentina
48.9 °C (120.0 °F)
Rivadavia, Salta Province, Argentina
11 December 1905
−32.8 °C (−27.0 °F)
Sarmiento, Chubut Province, Argentina
1 June 1907
A.^ Height above sea level is the usual choice of definition for elevation. The point farthest away from the centre of the Earth, however, is Chimborazo in Ecuador (6,267 m (20,561 feet)). This is due to the Earth's oblate spheroid shape, with points near the Equator being farther out from the centre than those at the poles.
B.^ All temperatures from the World Meteorological Organization unless noted.
C.^ The former record of 57.7 °C (135.9 °F) recorded at Al 'Aziziyah, Libya on 13 September 1922 was ruled no longer valid by the WMO due to mistakes made in the recording process. The 1913 reading is, however, itself controversial, and a measurement of 54.0 °C (129.2 °F) at Furnace Creek on 30 June 2013 is undisputed, especially since the same or almost the same temperature has been recorded several times in the 21st century in the same and other places.
E.^ Temperatures greater than 50 °C (122 °F) in Spain and Portugal were recorded in 1881, but the standard with which they were measured and the accuracy of the thermometers used are unknown; therefore, they are not considered official. Unconfirmed reports also indicate that a set of Spanish stations may have hit 48.0 °C (118.4 °F) during the 2003 heat wave.
F.^ Greenland is considered by the World Meteorological Organization to be part of WMO region 6 (Europe).
G.^ A temperature of 53.1 °C (127.6 °F) was recorded in Cloncurry, Queensland on 16 January 1889 under non-standard exposure conditions and is therefore not considered official.

Humans and biogeography

On land, vegetation appears on a scale from brown (low vegetation) to dark green (heavy vegetation); at the ocean surface, phytoplankton are indicated on a scale from purple (low) to yellow (high).
For representational purposes only: The point on earth closest to everyone in the world on average was calculated to be in Central Asia, with a mean distance of 5,000 kilometers (3,000 mi). Its antipodal point is correspondingly the farthest point from everyone on earth, and is located in the South Pacific near Easter Island, with a mean distance of 15,000 kilometers (9,300 mi). The data used by this figure is lumped at the country level, and is therefore precise only to country-scale distances, larger nations heavily skewed. Far more granular data -- kilometer level, is now available -- compares with this old "textbook" example.

In contrast to places with the highest density of life, like terrestrial tropical regions, and beside local extreme conditions, which might only be overcome by extremophiles, there are areas of extreme low amounts of life.

Next to terrestrial lifeless areas like the Antarctic desert's McMurdo Dry Valleys and its Don Juan Pond, the most lifeless area in the ocean studied (other than the more general dead zones) is the South Pacific Gyre, corresponding to the oceanic pole of inaccessibility.

The oceanic pole of inaccessibility is also the antipodal area of the human center of population which lies today around southern Central Asia. Similarly the world's economic center of gravity has been drifting since antiquity from Central Asia to Northern Europe and contemporarily back to Central Asia. The related centre of gravity of the worlds carbon emission has shifted from Britain during the Industrial Revolution to the Atlantic, back again and contemporarily into Central Asia.


Poles of inaccessibility

Each continent has its own continental pole of inaccessibility, defined as the place on the continent that is farthest from any ocean. Similarly, each ocean has its own oceanic pole of inaccessibility, defined as the place in the ocean that is farthest from any land.

Map of distance to the nearest coastline (including oceanic islands, but not lakes) with red spots marking the poles of inaccessibility of main landmasses, Great Britain, and the Iberian Peninsula, and a blue dot marking the oceanic pole of inaccessibility. Thin isolines are 250 km (160 mi) apart; thick lines 1,000 km (620 mi). Mollweide projection.


If adopted, this would place the final EPIA roughly 130 km (80 mi) closer to the ocean than the point that is currently agreed upon. Coincidentally, EPIA1, or EPIA2, and the most remote of the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility (specifically, the point in the South Pacific Ocean that is farthest from land) are similarly remote; EPIA1 is less than 200 km (120 mi) closer to the ocean than the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility is to land.


Other places considered the most remote

Bouvet Island
  • The most remote island is Bouvet Island, a small, uninhabited island in the South Atlantic Ocean that is a dependency of Norway. It lies at coordinates 54°26′S 3°24′E / 54.433°S 3.400°E / -54.433; 3.400 (most remote island). The nearest land is the uninhabited Queen Maud Land, Antarctica (also claimed by Norway), over 1,600 km (1,000 mi) to the south. The nearest inhabited lands are Gough Island, 1,845 km (1,146 mi) away, Tristan da Cunha, 2,260 km (1,404 mi) away, and the coast of South Africa, 2,580 km (1,603 mi) away.
  • The title for most remote inhabited island or archipelago (the farthest away from any other permanently inhabited place) depends on how the question is interpreted. If the south Atlantic island Tristan da Cunha (population about 300) and its dependency Gough Island (with a small staffed research post), which are 399 km (248 mi) from each other, are considered part of the same archipelago, or if Gough Island is not counted because it has no permanent residents, then Tristan da Cunha is the world's most remote inhabited island/archipelago: the main island, also called Tristan da Cunha, is 2,434 km (1,512 mi) from the island Saint Helena, 2,816 km (1,750 mi) from South Africa, and 3,360 km (2,090 mi) from South America. It is 2,260 km (1,404 mi) away from uninhabited Bouvet Island. However, if Gough and Tristan da Cunha are considered separately, they disqualify each other, and the most remote inhabited island is Easter Island in the South Pacific Ocean, which lies 2,075 km (1,289 mi) from Pitcairn Island (about 50 residents in 2013), 2,606 km (1,619 mi) from Rikitea on the island of Mangareva (the nearest town with a population over 500), and 3,512 km (2,182 mi) from the coast of Chile (the nearest continental point and the country of which Easter Island is part). The Kerguelen Islands in the southern Indian Ocean are another contender, lying 1,340 km (830 mi) from the small Alfred Faure scientific station in Île de la Possession, but otherwise more than 3,300 km (2,100 mi) from the coast of Madagascar (the nearest permanently inhabited place), 450 km (280 mi) northwest of the uninhabited Heard Island and McDonald Islands (both a part of Australia), and 1,440 km (890 mi) from the non-permanent scientific station located in Île Amsterdam.
  • Remote cities
    • The most remote city with a population in excess of one million from the nearest city with a population in excess of one million is Auckland, New Zealand. The nearest city of comparable size or greater is Sydney, Australia, 2,168.9 km (1,347.7 mi) away.
    • The most remote city with a population in excess of one million from the nearest city with a population above 100,000 is Perth, Australia, located 2,138 km (1,328 mi) away from Adelaide, Australia.
    • The most remote city with a population in excess of 100,000 from the nearest city with a population in excess of 100,000 is Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. The nearest city of comparable size or greater is San Francisco, 3,850 km (2,390 mi) away.
    • The most remote national capitals are Wellington, New Zealand, and Canberra, Australia, which are 2,326 km (1,445 mi) apart from each other and neither is closer to another capital.
  • The most remote airport in the world from another airport is Mataveri International Airport (IPC) on Easter Island, which has a single runway for military and public use. It is located 2,603 km (1,617 mi) from Totegegie Airport (GMR; very few flights) in the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia and 3,759 km (2,336 mi) from Santiago, Chile (SCL; a fairly large airport). In comparison, the airport at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station (NZSP) is not very remote at all, being located only 1,355 km (842 mi) from Williams Field (NZWD) near Ross Island.

Farthest-apart cities

The pairs of cities (with a population over 100,000) with the greatest distance between them (antipodes) are:

  1. Xinghua, China to Rosario, Argentina: 19,996 km (12,425 mi)
  2. Lu'an, China to Río Cuarto, Argentina: 19,994 km (12,424 mi)
  3. Subang Jaya, Malaysia to Cuenca, Ecuador: 19,989 km (12,421 mi)
  4. Shanghai, China to Concordia, Argentina: 19,984 km (12,417 mi)
  5. Xi'an, China to Rancagua, Chile: 19,972 km (12,410 mi)
  6. Rui'an, China to Resistencia, Argentina: 19,967 km (12,407 mi)
  7. Yantai, China to Tandil, Argentina: 19,965 km (12,406 mi)
  8. Lichuan, China to Coquimbo, Chile: 19,964 km (12,405 mi)
  9. Bandung, Indonesia to Piedecuesta, Colombia: 19,962 km (12,404 mi)
  10. Salamanca, Spain to Lower Hutt, New Zealand: 19,961 km (12,403 mi)

The pair of airports with scheduled flights having the greatest distance between them are Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport, which serves Palembang, Indonesia, and Benito Salas Airport, which serves Neiva, Colombia, located about 10,819 nautical miles (20,037 km) apart. See longest flights for the longest non-stop flights.


Since the Earth is a spheroid, its centre (the core) is thousands of kilometres beneath its crust. Still, there have been attempts to define various "centrepoints" on the Earth's surface.

  • The centre of the standard geographic model as viewed on a traditional world map is the point 0°, 0° (the coordinates of zero degrees latitude by zero degrees longitude), which is located in the Atlantic Ocean about 614 km (382 mi) south of Accra, Ghana, in the Gulf of Guinea. It lies at the intersection of the Equator and the Prime Meridian, is marked with a buoy and sometimes called Null Island. However, the selection of the Prime Meridian as the 0° longitude meridian depended on cultural and historical factors and is therefore geographically arbitrary (any of the Earth's meridians could, in principle, be defined as 0° longitude); consequently, the position of the "Null Island" centrepoint is also arbitrary.
  • The centre of population, the place to which there is the shortest average route for every individual human being in the world, could also be considered a "centre of the world". This point is located in the north of the Indian subcontinent, although the precise location has never been calculated and is constantly shifting due to changes in the distribution of the human population across the planet.

Geophysical extremes

Tallest mountain

  • Mauna Kea, tallest mountain from base-to-peak, with a dry prominence of 9,330 m (30,610 ft) and a wet prominence above sea level of 4,207.3 m (13,803 ft).
  • Denali, tallest mountain from base-to-peak on land, measuring 5,500 m (18,000 ft).

Greatest vertical drop

Greatest purely vertical drop 1,200 m (4,100 ft)
Mount Thor, Auyuittuq National Park, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada (summit elevation 1,675 m (5,495 ft))
Greatest nearly vertical drop 1,340 m (4,396 ft)
Trango Towers, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan (summit elevation 6,286 m (20,623 ft))
Greatest mountain face 4,600 m (15,092 ft)
Nanga Parbat, Rupal Face, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan
Greatest ocean cliff Kermadec Trench, with cliffs around 8,000 m (26,000 ft) tall


Deepest mine below ground level 4,000 m (13,000 ft)
Mponeng Gold Mine, Gauteng Province, South Africa
Deepest mine below sea level 2,733 m (8,967 ft) below sea level
Kidd Mine, Ontario, Canada
Deepest open-pit mine below ground level 1,200 m (3,900 ft)
Bingham Canyon Mine, Utah, United States
Deepest open-pit mine below sea level 293 m (961 ft) below sea level
Tagebau Hambach, Germany
Deepest cave (measured from the entrance) 2,204 m (7,231 ft)
Veryovkina, Arabika Massif, Abkhazia, Georgia
Deepest pitch (single vertical drop) 1,026 m (3,366 ft)
Tian Xing Cave, China
Deepest borehole 12,261 m (40,226 ft)
Kola Superdeep Borehole, Russia

Greatest oceanic depths

Atlantic Ocean 8,376 m (27,480 ft)
Milwaukee Deep (within the Brownson Deep), Puerto Rico Trench
Arctic Ocean 5,550 m (18,209 ft)
Molloy Deep, Fram Strait
Indian Ocean 7,192 m (23,596 ft)
Sunda Trench
Mediterranean Sea 5,267 m (17,280 ft)
Calypso Deep, Hellenic Trench
Pacific Ocean 10,928 m (35,853 ft)
Challenger Deep, Mariana Trench
Southern Ocean 7,433.6 m (24,388 ft)
South Sandwich Trench (southernmost portion, at 60°28.46′S 025°32.32′W / 60.47433°S 25.53867°W / -60.47433; -25.53867)

Deepest ice

Ice sheets on land, but having the base below sea level. Places under ice are not considered to be on land.

Denman Subglacial Trench −3,500 m (−11,500 ft) Antarctica
Trough beneath Jakobshavn Isbræ −1,512 m (−4,961 ft) Greenland, Denmark

Meteorological extremes

Coldest and hottest inhabited places on Earth

Hottest inhabited place Dallol, Ethiopia (Amharic: ዳሎል), whose annual mean temperature was recorded from 1960 to 1966 as 34.4 °C (93.9 °F). The average daily maximum temperature during the same period was 41.1 °C (106.0 °F).
Coldest inhabited place Oymyakon (Russian: Оймяко́н), a rural locality (selo) in Oymyakonsky District of the Sakha Republic, the Russian Federation, has the coldest monthly mean, with −46.4 °C (−51.5 °F) the average temperature in January, the coldest month. Eureka, Nunavut, Canada has the lowest annual mean temperature at −19.7 °C (−3.5 °F).
The South Pole and some other places in Antarctica are colder and are populated year-round, but almost everyone stays less than a year and could be considered visitors, not inhabitants.

Ground temperatures

Temperatures measured directly on the ground may exceed air temperatures by 30 to 50 °C. A ground temperature of 84 °C (183.2 °F) has been recorded in Port Sudan, Sudan. A ground temperature of 93.9 °C (201 °F) was recorded in Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California, United States on 15 July 1972; this may be the highest natural ground surface temperature ever recorded. The theoretical maximum possible ground surface temperature has been estimated to be between 90 and 100 °C for dry, darkish soils of low thermal conductivity.

Satellite measurements of ground temperature taken between 2003 and 2009, taken with the MODIS infrared spectroradiometer on the Aqua satellite, found a maximum temperature of 70.7 °C (159.3 °F), which was recorded in 2005 in the Lut Desert, Iran. The Lut Desert was also found to have the highest maximum temperature in 5 of the 7 years measured (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009). These measurements reflect averages over a large region and so are lower than the maximum point surface temperature.

Satellite measurements of the surface temperature of Antarctica, taken between 1982 and 2013, found a coldest temperature of −93.2 °C (−136 °F) on 10 August 2010, at 81°48′S 59°18′E / 81.8°S 59.3°E / -81.8; 59.3. Although this is not comparable to an air temperature, it is believed that the air temperature at this location would have been lower than the official record lowest air temperature of −89.2 °C.

Extreme points by region


The Americas




See also

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