The next time you complain about a slight nip in the air you might want to spare a thought for the poor inhabitants of Oymyakon – a quaint, rural village in eastern Yakutia, Russia.
Last week the temperatures there fell to a teeth-chattering minus 62 degrees Celsius, with many residents even stating that it may even have been colder! It got so bad that their freshly installed electronic thermometer began to malfunction and eventually broke!
The village’s major claim to fame is the fact that it routinely records some of the coldest temperatures known to man. In 1933, it recorded the then coldest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere when the mercury fell to an unthinkable negative 67 degrees Celsius!
‘Oymyakon’ loosely translates to literally mean ‘unfrozen patch of water; where fish spend the winter.” Many man-made structures in Oymyakon must be secured into the thick layer of frost that is present throughout the year, to prevent them from collapsing. Furthermore, visitors must take steps to protect every part of their body from the intense cold – with frostbite and hypothermia posing ever-present risks to travelers foolish enough to venture out unprotected.
Oymyakon has a population of roughly 500 people, with the vast majority of them living relatively average everyday lives in spite of the ludicrous conditions. Residents here enjoy fresh and clean air as well as an active lifestyle and an abundantly healthy diet. Their primary source of food is fish, horsemeat and a variety of dairy products. Wild berries are collected and consumed in order to compensate for the lack of fresh fruit.
From the pictures we’re seeing, it is clear that the inhabitants aren’t letting something as trivial as the cold stop them from having a good time! Residents and tourists alike were pictured taking selfies, striking poses and running around in gay abandonment! A particularly brave ballerina even decided to perform a little routine for everyone!
We salute your spirit, Oymyakon. You keep doing you!