The Russian village Ojmjakon is one of the coldest places in the whole world which counted the lowest temperature ever registered in a place inhabited by mankind and that sees, every winter, its thermometers to drop all the way down to -71 C° (-95 F°). The people living in this frozen piece of world follow a reindeer and horse meat based diet and, perhaps unexpectedly, there is no case of malnutrition reported.

Below: the city, photographed by Ilya Varlamov shared via Wikipedia – licence Creative Commons 4.0

In the village it is important to not let the water pipes freeze, and for this reason, people keep their cars and means running throughout the whole day because of the impossibility to power them up once out of the garage. Digging the ground to bury a dead can require up to 3 days as the ground has to be defrosted with burning coal. The average temperature in January is -50 C° ( -58 F°) and for this Ojmjakon is the coldest settlement inhabited in the world.

Oymyakon is situated 2 days away from the city of Yakutsk, center of the region, amongst the most freezing realities ever encountered. There are very little modern services in the village and each building has the toilets outside because the drainage of the water would inevitably lead to an instant freezing of the pipes.

Below: Horse Yakut in Oymyakon. Picture by Maarten Preso shared via Wikipedia – licence Creative Commons 2.0

The heat sources are mainly coal and wood, and when the coal delivery becomes more uneven, the police station starts to burn the wood logs. If the wood runs out, the city has an autonomy of 5 hours maximum before the pipes turn frozen and the life of its citizens ends.

Below: the forest around Oymyakon in February 2013. Picture by Maarten Takens shared via Wikipedia – licence Creative Commons 2.0

Even though many difficulties arise when living in such a place, the population is growing; it has indeed passed from 319 people in 2002  to 462 in 2010, a real record for the village. Furthermore it is relevant to keep in mind that the place is not only extremely cold for most of its time, but during summertime it also reaches +34 C° ( +93 F°) .

The gap between minimum from January and maximum in August is beyond 100°C (212 F°)

Even due to these temperature ranges, Oymyakon is considered as one of the most extreme places where to live for the human race.

Matteo Rubboli

I am a publisher specialised in the digital distribution of culture and founder of the portal Vanilla Magazine. I don't wear a tie or branded clothes, I keep my hair short so I don't have to comb it. That's not my fault but just the way I've been drawn as...

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