Cranking up the thermostat and watching Modern Family reruns is not an option for the residents of the Russian village of Oymyakon, where the average temperature in January is a frosty -50C (-58F). A typical day is more likely to include spending time bundling up to use an outdoor toilet and piling on the coal to keep your home warm.
The village, located in the far northwest of Russia’s Sakha Republic, has the distinction of being the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world. The lowest temperate ever recorded was -71.2C (-96F).
Common #OymyakonProblems include pen ink freezing and batteries losing power. Villagers also leave their cars running all day during the winter, fearing they won’t be able to start them again.
Of course, the locals are accustomed to the freezing temperatures. The village school doesn’t do snow days, but will close if the temperature falls below -52C. While nothing grows in Oymyakon — it’s above the Arctic Circle, after all — residents do just fine on a diet of reindeer and horse meat and don’t suffer from malnutrition because their animals’ milk contains plenty of micronutrients.
The winter days wouldn’t appeal to most, but temperatures in Oymyakon average over 20C (68F) in July. There’s also a hot spring nearby where farmers can water their livestock.
The moral of the story: next time you think your city is experiencing a deep freeze, think of the poor soul in Oymyakon whose glasses just froze to his face (another common #OymyakonProblem).
See hot water instantly turn to snow here…