8 of the World’s Least Hospitable Places


Whether it be from pollution, extreme weather, or natural phenomena, the following are some of the places you probably aren’t so keen on living in. But, amazingly enough, people do! Check out some of the most inhospitable places on earth.


1. Oymyakon, Russia

Population: 472

Oymyakon, Russia has the dubious honor of being the coldest populated place on the planet. The city lies smack dab in the middle of two mountain ranges, which trap in the bitterly cold air. How cold are we talking here? Well, the average monthly temperature is below freezing for 7 months of the year (an average of -51 degrees Fahrenheit in January!)

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2. Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan

Population: 20,000

The mining operation that once made this town thrive has now wreaked major havoc on both the economy and the environment. From the 1940′s to the 1960′s a uranium plant produced over 10,000 metric tons of the stuff, which has had potentially huge consequences on the local population and the nearby river, which supplies drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people.

Earlier: 7 of the World’s Most Unusual Restaurants (Slideshow)

3. Dallol, Ethiopia

Population: Unclear, but probably 0

Dallol is home to the lowest land volcano on earth, the hottest temperatures on earth, and, of course, is one of the most remote places on earth. With that trio, it is no wonder that the town is now abandoned.

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4. Pripyat, Ukraine

Population: 0

Once home to around 50,000 people, Pripyat was completely abandoned following the disaster at the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Though radiation levels have dropped off in the 25 years since the accident and tour groups are now allowed to visit the evacuated city, it is not safe to live in.

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5. Linfen, China

Population: 4,316,612

Located in China’s coal belt, Linfen is perhaps the most polluted, and dirtiest, city in the world.

More: 6 Places Where Cars Are Banned (Slideshow)

6. Cherrapunji, India

Population: 14,816

Welcome to  one of the rainiest place on earth, with an average of 463.7 inches per year! And it’s not just regular old rain; no, Cherrapunji is squarely in monsoon territory.

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7. Norilsk, Russia

Population: 175,301

Sure, it doesn’t look so bad in the photo above — but trust us, Norilsk, Russia, is not the most desirable place to live. In between extreme levels of pollution and its location in Northern Siberia, Norilsk has a lot working against it. The city was founded in the 1920′s as a major hub for mining, today the city is among the most polluted on earth.

Also See: 6 of the World’s Most Remote People

8. La Oroya, Peru

Population: 33,000

Ninety-nine percent of children in La Oroya have higher levels of lead in the blood than is acceptable. Indeed, the smelter in the city is the main source of both employment and pollution. La Oroya is one of the most polluted places in the world.

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David C
David C9 months ago

still 20 pts?

Dave C.
David C1 years ago

20 points

Dave C.
David C2 years ago

thanks again

Jo Recovering
Jo S2 years ago

Thank you Katie.

Dave C.
David C2 years ago

well its been 5 months plus since I read this so I guess its okay again.

David C.
David C3 years ago

20 points again.........

David C.
David C3 years ago

wow, cannot believe that my last response was still the most recent......

Dave C.
David C3 years ago

noted. 20 credits. thanks.

Tanya Selth
Tanya Selth3 years ago

oh I really wanted to read this article but can only get up the first place.

ERIKA S4 years ago

thank you for sharing