Oymyakon: a town that gets colder than the Peak of Mt Everest.

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Deep into the north western frontiers of Russia, a population of 500 people in a Siberian town called Oymyakon spends a few extra ounces of fuel everyday to keep their cars running overnight so as to ensure they’ll start the next day. They melt the earth in order to bury their dead and scurry around hurriedly across the streets to beat the cold.

The temperatures in Oymyakon dip as far down as –67.7 degrees Celsius in the winter and on average, they stick to around –46 degrees. The town has thus been named the coldest place on earth with human life. The coldest ever temperature recorded in Oymyakon was –71.2C.

One can only imagine the health complications that can be developed from half a minute of nude sun bathing here. But backyard sun bathing isn’t a considered past time activity in the town of Oymyakon since there isn’t much sun to go around anyway. According to Dailymail, days can vary from 3 hours in winter and 21 hours in summer.

In addition to being a very cold place, this town is also haunted by darker afternoons with the sun being obscured most of the time by clouds of overhead mist.

The only shop that operates in Oymyakon

A coal heating plant in the town keeps people warm

All these climatic extremes do not come at a surprise since Oymyakon lies a few hundred miles from the Arctic Circle. It is therefore a long shot to expect any substantial crop farming to take place.

The most common diet amongst the residents of the town comprises of reindeer, iced up horse blood and frozen fish. Don’t expect any visiting vegan tourists here.

At the Central Market In Yakutsk, fish and meat are the most common foods sold.

Fortunately, the presence of a thermal spring in the town’s vicinity allows reindeer farmers to water their livestock. In fact, the hot spring inspired the name Oymyakon which in English means “non-freezing water”.

Image Courtesy: www.amoschapplephoto.com

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