The inhabitants of Oimiakon surely have a clear answer to the question “What do you prefer, winter or summer
”. This settlement of just 500 people in the Yakutia region of Russia has built a reputation for being the coldest inhabited place in the world.
In this remote area, temperatures often plummet several degrees below zero, making Oimiakon the world’s coldest city.
Before reading on, you may want to go for a jacket that keeps you warm, because the truth is that what we are going to describe induces you to want to cover up well.
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Oimiakon, the coldest city
Seven hours by plane from Moscow, is Oimiakon, a small city in eastern Siberia, not suitable for cold people. It is the coldest city in the world , where it is so cold that the eyelashes freeze under a thin layer of frost and that makes it impossible to have your face uncovered without it hurting; fingers numb to the point of pain, so keep them in gloves.
The vehicles must remain with the engines running even if they are not circulating, otherwise the batteries would stop working permanently.
Although the average temperature fluctuates around 15 below zero, the record reached in 2017 was almost -24º C, according to the official register of the city. However, the thermometer located in the center, for all citizens to consult, broke when it was past -26. Some inhabitants even speak of records from 1930 that exceeded -30 under 0; but this is nothing if we compare it with the -36 degrees that were reached in 2013 .
Life in the coldest town in the world
The cold is not a minor problem in Oimiakon, it is a determining factor that determines the way of living and tests the ability of human beings to adapt to the environment. With 21 hours of darkness during the winter, the inhabitants of the coldest city stand out for the courage to face such severe conditions every day and, even so, live their lives in the most normal way possible.
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The diet that is followed there is basically carnivorous, since the possibility of farming is remote due to the glacial cold, which means that food must be eaten raw or almost frozen during the worst months of the year. Among the usual meals is Siberian stroganina (a highly prized fish in the area and yes, it is eaten raw), reindeer meat (raw), horse liver and horse blood ice cubes with macaroni. All delicatessens for these people. Open-air markets abound
in Oimiakon, where the products that are traded without the need for refrigerators or refrigerators are exhibited so that the cold chain is not broken (obviously). Stoic vendors stand for hours, clad in thick winter garments, next to their gender, hung upright or bucketed and stiff as a stake, waiting to be sold.
Here is a video to get an idea of what the atmosphere is like in the market of the coldest city in the world:
How to face the intense cold
Each Oimiakon home has fireplaces and heaters that work at full capacity; household appliances and the few businesses that exist have a central heater that allows them to work, as well as power generators, which also have this device.
The frosts are so intense that it is not possible to have a system of pipes, as these would explode, so the latrines are located in small wooden cabins attached to the houses. When a local receives the call of nature, he must go outside and quickly get into these cubicles to relieve himself.
Although they have assumed it as part of their lives, especially during the harsh winter, the inhabitants of Oimiakon hardly go outside more than necessary to run from one place to another. A natural remedy to combat low temperatures is drinking; It is believed that alcoholism is a basic problem in this city, because the more intense the cold, it is a matter of compensating it with a good shot of the strongest vodka they have, something that especially those who work outdoors do.
The reasons for such low temperatures
. How is it possible to beat the record for the coldest city in the world?
Nature has helped make this possible. Apparently, Oimiakon is located on a plateau 740 meters above sea level , which contributes to increasing the sensation of cold that would be had if it were located in a not so high point.
In addition, Oimiakon is surrounded by two mountain ranges; This point is important, because strong winds blow in that Siberian area during the winter, causing the temperature to plummet even more. In this way, the surrounding mountains serve so that said icy wind remains stagnant and concentrates.
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