The Coldest Inhabited Place on Earth

Ice cold days gave us a great deal of trouble this winter. It was so cold that some people would describe it as ‘’bone-chilling’’. The temperature came down to -20°C in some mountainous areas. Life in such cold conditions is quite difficult. However, can you imagine what life is like at -50°C? Residents of Oymyakon can.

Oymyakon, a village in Russia, is considered to be the coldest place in the world. Also referred to as “Cold Pole” in the northern hemisphere. It is located in the eastern part of Siberia, on the banks of the river Indigirka.

This northern Russian village is characterized by an average temperature of -51°C in January, but also with record low temperatures of all times of -71°C in February 2013.

The village is named after the Oymyakon river, whose name comes from the word “kheium” in Evensk language – meaning “frost-free water” or “a place where fish spend the winter”. According to another source, it is stated that Evensk word “heyum” refers to a frozen lake.


Life in Oymyakon, as you can imagine, comes with some very interesting challenges. Can you possibly imagine how you can live in the coldest inhabited place on the planet? At the mere mention of the average winter temperature in this small town, almost every bone in our body freezes. Residents Oymyakon are, however, accustomed to this climate. They have become accustomed to the fact that goggles will freeze on their faces, batteries lose power rapidly, the cars must work during the day continuously if they’re not parked in heated garages. Due to low temperatures there is no mobile phone signal, and even if there is a range of mobile phones – the phone battery will not survive the cold. Inhabitants are mainly engaged in cattle breeding, cultivation of reindeer and horses, as well as fishing.


Since the growing season in Oymyakon is extremely short, the residents of this village usually do not eat lots of fruit or vegetables. Their diet consists mainly of reindeer meat, horse meat, fish and milk from their animal farms. Although fruits and vegetables are rarely eaten here malnutrition is not the problem.


Oymyakon is home to many unique, umm… let’s call them buildings. Originally used as a way station to reindeer breeders, the coldest place on Earth now is home to 500 people, with only one store for residents and 1 gas station nearby.


Wearing fur is one of the few ways that people can be warm here. Residents Oymakyon use fur out of necessity, not fashionable purposes. Traditional reindeer fur boots are very popular in this region, but can cost more than 300 euros.


Although Oymyakon is mostly famous for its winters
that are just bone-chilling, the surrounding region is a popular tourist destination during the summer. Many companies offer several days of adventure through this
interesting region, so that tourists can experience the natural beauty that is simply breathtaking.
It is interesting that if this place is your choice of organized tourist trips, you can get a certificate for a being at “Cold Pole”.

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