What is Life Like in the Coldest Inhabited Town on Earth?

What is Life Like in the Coldest Inhabited Town on Earth?
Houses in the Oymyakon village located in the northeast of Yakutia, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The pipes get frozen so bathrooms are outdoor. Cars have to be kept running or mechanics will freeze up. And vegetarians will have a tough time here.

OT Staff
March 23 , 2020
08 Min Read

This is one place which is perpetually on "Winter is coming" mode. This is what it's like when hell freezes over. Okay, enough with the jokes. Especially when the name of the coldest inhabited place on earth is in itself an irony.

Oymyakon takes its name from the Russian for "water that doesn't freeze." And yet, this remote village in eastern Siberia has an average temperature of around -58 degrees Fahrenheit (that's -50 degrees Celsius) during winter. The lowest ever was a record -96.16 degrees Fahrenheit (-71.2 degrees Celsius) in 1924. You can see the monument in the town square which marks the day in 1924. North of the Sea of Okhotsk and close to the Arctic Circle, it became a settlement in the 1920s. Before that, it was a popular pitstop for winter herders who used to frequent a thermal spring for their reindeer.

 
 
 
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Who said Santa has white beard? ðŸÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂŽÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ… . #Maryam2020 #Yakutsk #russia #everydayrussia #Yakutia #oymyakon #reindeer #ÙŠاكوتسÙƒ #رÙˆسÙŠا #سفر #Travel #Traveller #Travelling  #faces #solotraveller  #femalesolotraveler  #peoplephotography #photography #streetphotography #moments #socialphotography #photojournalism #people_infinity #socialdocumentary #natgeo #natgeotravel #sonyalpha7iii

A post shared by Maryam Sultan Abdullah 🇰🇼 (@marillimasultan) on Mar 17, 2020 at 12:28am PDT

Life can get pretty interesting here. A run to the loo is a feat. Water pipes get frozen and run the risk of bursting, so indoor plumbing is mostly absent and bathrooms are outhouses. People who live here have cars. But the extreme cold could freeze up mechanics. So they are left running, sometimes overnight. Which means gas stations stay open 24 hours a day.

The famous petrol station on the road Kolyma to Oymyakon district. Travelers from all over the world stay here.

Russki chai or vodka helps deal with the extreme temperatures. The low temperatures mean you cannot grow vegetables here. So locals mostly eat frozen raw fish and meat, including horse liver. 

 
 
 
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Only natural food ðŸ¥Â˜ is source of our string immune system that capable to withstand severe cold conditions. Here is daily meal of field workers #organicfood #ecofood #arcticcousine #indigenousfood #Oymyakon #traditionalcousine

A post shared by Oymyakon - Pole of Cold: INFO (@oymyakonpoleofcold) on Feb 16, 2020 at 7:00am PST

The village gets a short summer when it can go upto 96 degrees Fahrenheit (35.5 degrees Celsius). Winters are harsh. Sometimes a night can stretch on for 21 hours. Come here during winter end and you can see the Cold Pole Festival. 

 
 
 
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@siberian_times Merry Christmas from the six ‘Santas’ of Siberia. Seasonal greetings to all parts of the world marking Christmas Day on 25 December, even though we have to wait a little longer! . . #Siberia #Christmas #Xmas #merrychristmas #newyear #greetings #winter #Santa #FatherFrost #Chyskhaan #Khaarchaana #yamaliri #grandfatherfost - #regrann

A post shared by italy.russia (@italy.russia) on Dec 24, 2017 at 6:28am PST

 

 
 
 
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Appreciation post for more “Santas” from Indigenous Siberian Asian cultures! ðŸÂÂÂÂÂŽÂÂÂÂÂ… #santa #christmas #winter #asia #asian #siberian #russia #russian #siberia #indigenous #indigenouspeople #northasia #tuva #sakha #yakutia #tatarstan #tatar #yamal #buryatia #buryat #buddhist #chyskhaan #sookirey #motherwinter #sagaanubugul #kyshbabayi #asianculture #кышбабай #якутия #саÑÂÂÂÂÂ…а

A post shared by LOOKING FOR ADMINS (@indigenousnorthasia) on Dec 25, 2019 at 5:30pm PST

Hosted by Chyskhaan, a Yakutian pagan spirit, it has people taking part in dog sledding, reindeer races, ice fishing, and other sports.


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