Not Cold Enough For You? Why Not Visit The Coldest Village On Earth?
If you've been on social media today, you'll probably have noticed there are a lot of Brits panicking about the 'Beast from the East' or a 'bit of snow', as I'm calling it.
We don't cope very well with 'extreme weather' in the UK, because we're not really used to it; unlike the folks who live in the Russian village of Oymyakon. Over there, the average January temperature is minus 50c and just last month, the self-proclaimed 'pole of cold' official weather station registered minus 59C, but locals were reporting readings as low as minus 67C.
That's only slightly better than coldest ever recorded temperature there, minus 71.2C. Imagine waiting for your delayed train in that.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the town was a stopover for reindeer herders who would water their flocks from the village's thermal spring. That gave rise to the village's name, which translates to 'the water that doesn't freeze'.
In later years, the Soviet government made the village a permanent settlement in an attempt to make its nomadic population less nomadic - and now around 500 people inhabit Oymyakon, which is reported to be the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world.
Credit: Amazing Planet News/YouTube
The inhabitants are so stoic and used to the weather conditions that they only shut the Oymyakon solitary school if temperatures drop below minus 52C. Which makes our snow days look a bit silly.
The struggles of getting by in a practical sense include pen ink freezing, glasses freezing so much they stick to people's faces and cars essentially losing all their power, meaning locals have to leave them running all day.
And when somebody dies, the rock solid earth of the village means it has to be thawed with a bonfire for a few hours before digging can begin. The process of digging a deep enough grave takes several days. Grim.
However, it's not all snow and slippy ice patches for local residents, in summer, temperatures can soar to 30C and over. So, if you're thinking of going and don't fancy your actual eyelashes become icicles, then maybe go during the summer.
Featured Image Credit: East2West