Extremes on Earth
This article describes extreme locations on Earth. Entries listed in bold are Earth-wide extremes.
Extreme global temperatures
Extreme elevations and air temperatures per continent
|Continent||Elevation (height above/below sea level)A||Air Temperature (recorded)B|
|Africa|| 5,893 m (19,334 feet)|
| || −155 m (−509 feet)|
Lake Assal, Djibouti
| 55 °C (131 °F)|
7 July 1931C
| −23.9 °C (−11.0 °F)|
11 February 1935
|Antarctica|| 4,892 m (16,050 feet)|
| || −50 m (−164 feet)|
Deep Lake, Vestfold Hills
(compare the deepest ice section below)
| 15 °C (59 °F)|
1 May 1974
| −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F)|
21 July 1983
|Asia|| 8,848 m (29,029 feet)|
Mount Everest, China-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
| −67.8 °C (−90.0 °F) Measured|
Verkhoyansk, Siberia, Russia (then in the Russian Empire)
5 February 1892
| −71.2 °C (−96.2 °F) Extrapolated|
Oymyakon, Siberia, Russia (then in the 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
| 48.0 °C (118.4 °F)|
(and Elefsina, Greece)
10 July 1977 E
| −58.1 °C (−72.6 °F)|
Ust-Shchuger, Russian Federation
31 December 1978
|North America|| 6,190.5 m (20,310 feet)|
Denali (Mount McKinley), Alaska, U.S.A.
| || −85 m (−279 feet)|
Badwater Basin, California, U.S.A.
| 56.7 °C (134 °F)|
Greenland Ranch (Furnace Creek), California, U.S.A.
10 July 1913C
| −63.0 °C (−81.4 °F)|
Snag, Yukon, Canada
3 February 1947
| 4,884 m (16,024 feet)|
Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid), Indonesia
(compare Mount Wilhelm, 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 1960
| −23 °C (−9 °F)|
Charlotte Pass, New South Wales, Australia
29 June 1994H
|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)|
1 June 1907
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: Оймякон), a village (selo) in Oymyakonsky Ulus of the Sakha Republic, the Russian Federation, located along the Indigirka River. It has the coldest monthly mean with −50 °C (−58 °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.|
Extreme 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. 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.
Greatest vertical drop
|Greatest purely vertical drop|| |
1,250 m (4,101 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, Pakistan (summit elevation 6,286 m (20,623 ft))
|Deepest mine below ground level|| 4,000 m (13,123 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 (3,937 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|| 2,197 m (7,208 ft)|
Krubera-Voronja Cave, Arabika Massif, Georgia
|Deepest pitch (single vertical drop)|| 1,026 m (3,366 ft)|
Tian Xing Cave, China
Greatest oceanic depths
|Atlantic Ocean|| 8,648 m (28,373 ft)|
Milwaukee Deep, Puerto Rico Trench
|Arctic Ocean|| 5,450 m (17,881 ft)|
Litke Deep, Eurasian Basin
|Indian Ocean|| 7,258 m (23,812 ft)|
|Mediterranean Sea|| 5,267 m (17,280 ft)|
Calypso Deep, Hellenic Trench
|Pacific Ocean|| 10,971 m (35,994 ft)|
Challenger Deep, Mariana Trench
|Southern Ocean|| 7,235 m (23,737 ft)|
South Sandwich Trench (southernmost portion, at 60°S)
Ice sheets on land, but having the base below sea level. Places under ice are not considered to be on land.
|Bentley Subglacial Trench||−2,555 m (−8,383 ft)||Antarctica|
|Trough beneath Jakobshavn Isbræ||−1,512 m (−4,961 ft)||Greenland|
Northern and southernmost points of land on Earth
|Northernmost point on land|| Kaffeklubben Island, east of Greenland (83°40′N 29°50′W / 83.667°N 29.833°W)|
Various shifting gravel bars lie further north, the most famous being Oodaaq
|Southernmost point on land||The geographic South Pole|
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- Indicator 62 - Water levels of Deep Lake, Vestfold Hills, Australian Antarctic Data Centre. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
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- Aconcagua, Argentina at peakbagger.com
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- Coldest spot on Earth identified by satellite, Jonathan Amos, BBC News, 9 December 2013.
- The Coldest Place on Earth: -90°C and below from Landsat 8 and other satellite thermal sensors, Ted Scambos, Allen Pope, Garrett Campbell, and Terry Haran, American Geophysical Union fall meeting, 9 December 2013.
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