Within much of the United States, we are officially in what is referred to as the “dead of winter.” Temperatures are getting lower and lower. In some places, it’s too cold to go out for even a few minutes, lest you risk frostbite. Even Frosty the Snowman is thinking about booking a Caribbean excursion.

And of course, along with this ultra-frigid weather comes the pleasure of frozen (and burst) water pipes. The fact is, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather and can cause thousands in water damage - easily $5,000 or more, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Our own sources put the average cost of frozen pipe failures at a whopping $8,189.

For a while now, we’ve been telling you about how the SimpleSENCE Water Leak and Freeze Detector is…well, a freeze detector. And a darn good one. The unit features a temperature sensor with a sensing range of -40°F to 30°F, and will trigger a low temperature alarm at 34° F. This will provide you with plenty of notice before the area in which your pipes are located goes down to the freezing point of 32°F (even once it reaches that temperature, pipes don’t freeze immediately, so time will still be on your side).

Of course, all this talk of frigid weather and icy conditions got us to thinking about some of the coldest places on earth, as well as some of the lowest temperatures ever recorded and some other cool (OK, cold) trivia. Hey, we’re curious, we can’t help it.

Our research turned up some facts that will chill you to the bone:

Coldest Place on Earth

The Eastern Antarctic Plateau claims the title of coldest place on Earth. Between 2004 and 2016, satellite data collected across Dome Argus and Dome Fuji, an area around the size of Australia, suggest that air temperatures could be around -200°F (-94°C). This would be the coldest temperature on Earth, but researchers think that with the dry air around the area, it could cause temperatures to get even colder.

Coldest Temperature Ever Recorded

While the Eastern Antarctic Plateau boasts the lowest temperature ever recorded, it was done through satellite data, not direct measurement. The lowest natural temperature ever directly recorded at ground level on Earth is −128.6 °F (−89.2 °C) at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica on July 21, 1983.

Coldest Place to Live

Oymyakon is the coldest permanently-inhabited place on Earth and is found in the Arctic Circle’s Northern Pole of Cold (seems like an appropriate name). With a population of below 500, schools will shut only if it’s colder than -67°F (-55°C), which can be the average minimum temperature during the winter. We should point out that since it’s likely that their pipes are permanently frozen, the inhabitants of Oymyakon do not represent SimpleSENCE’s target customer base.

Coldest Place in the United States

Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley, is the highest mountain peak in North America, more than 6000 meters above sea level. With an average temperature of around -10°C, only half the people who attempt to climb this mountain actually make it to the peak. Between 1950 and 1969, a weather station there picked up a temperature of around -99.4°F (-73°C), but wind chills can be as low as -118.12°F (-83.4°C).

Coldest Temperature for a Mammal

Not quite sure how we thought of this one, but the lowest body temperature ever recorded in a mammal is 26ºF (-2.9ºC) for the Arctic ground squirrel of Alaska and northwest Canada. Their body temperatures drop below freezing when in a state of suspended animation during their (up to) nine-month hibernation period in the Arctic winter. Interestingly, being a warm-blooded mammal, their normal body temperature in the summer months is 98ºF (37ºC) – pretty close to ours.

Coldest Place in the Universe

We definitely saved the best for last. The coldest place in the universe is the Boomerang Nebula, the chilliest object ever found so far. It's located some 5,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Centaurus. Its temperature is best expressed by recapping the lowest limit of the thermodynamic temperature scale: absolute zero. On the Celsius scale this would be –273.15º degrees, while on the Fahrenheit scale it is an even worse-sounding –459.67º. Simply put, it cannot get any colder than that.


Let’s face it: there are places on this planet, and certainly in our universe, where freeze detection using a SimpleSENCE device is pretty much unnecessary. But unless you live in any of the places above, including the Boomerang Nebula (which we’ve decided is not on our bucket list of vacation destinations), SimpleSENCE will do a terrific job of protecting your pipes, your property, and your home.

Now go get yourself some hot chocolate.