The coldest natural temperature ever recorded on Earth was −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F), which was recorded on July 21, 1983 at the Vostok Station in Antarctica. The Vostok Station is a Russian research station located in the middle of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, and is one of the coldest places on Earth. The station is operated by the Russian Antarctic Expedition and is the oldest of Russia's Antarctic stations, having been in continuous operation since 1957.
The coldest temperature ever recorded is far colder than the coldest temperature ever measured in the Arctic, which is −68 °C (−90.4 °F) at the North Pole. This is because Antarctica is much colder than the Arctic due to its higher elevation, its greater distance from the equator, and its higher albedo.
The coldest temperature ever recorded at the Vostok Station was part of a prolonged cold snap that lasted for several weeks and saw temperatures plunge to as low as −93.2 °C (−135.8 °F). During this time, the average temperature at the station was −76.5 °C (−105.7 °F).
The coldest temperature ever recorded is not only remarkable for its record-breaking coldness, but also for its longevity. The temperature remained at −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) for over four hours before gradually increasing. This is a testament to the extreme coldness of the environment at the Vostok Station.
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