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Every season brings with it its own beauty—winter is no different. Previously, we showed you photos of the Big Freeze that gripped Northern US and Canada. It’s safe to say even in comparison to this, nothing compared to the cold on Oymyakon where the temperature dropped to -62°C (-80°F). Now THAT is cold!! It certainly makes our city weather look mild, doesn’t it?
Oymyakon, dubbed as the coldest permanently inhabited village on earth, is located in the Sakha Republic, Russia and experiences extreme weather conditions.
New Zealand-based photographer Amos Chapple ventured into this Siberian settlement recently to capture moments of people and their everyday life.
In an interview with the media, he stated “I was wearing thin trousers when I first stepped outside into -47 °C (-52°F). I remember feeling like the cold was physically gripping my legs, the other surprise was that occasionally my saliva would freeze into needles that would prick my lips”.
The photographer recalls the hardest thing was not the cold itself, but that his camera’s focus and zoom rings would occasionally freeze in place.
This year, the cold is even worse. The weather station in the area registered the temperature at -59°C (-74°F) but readings from an electric thermometer showed -62°C (-80°F). The device even stopped working after reaching that mark. Many of the locals claimed that the temperature drops as low as -68°C (-90°F), but somehow they don’t seem to mind.
Local students are expected to attend regular classes until the temperature falls below -52°C (-62°F), and life here continues normally.
The village is located along the Indigirka River, making fish one of their primary food. The street vendors don’t bother with refrigeration as the open air is sufficient enough to prevent rotting.
Between 1920 and 1930 the village was a stopover point for reindeer herders. They would often stop here for water from the thermal spring. The name of the village reportedly comes from the Even word (hэjум) kheium, meaning “unfrozen patch of water; a place where fish spend the winter.”
At approximately 750 meters above sea level, the 500 inhabitants enjoy three hours of daylight in December to twenty-one hours of daylight in June.
Despite the freezing winter, summers in Oymyakon is quite hot. It’s normal to see 30°C (86 °F) in June, July and August.
The Soviet government transformed the land into a permanent settlement in hopes that the nomadic population will put down their roots.
In 1933, a temperature of -67.7°C (−89.9°F) was recorded in the village & was accepted as the lowest ever in the Northern Hemisphere.
Check out the photos compiled by Feedfond from the “The Pole Of Cold” and be sure to like the ones you love!
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Fishing market Yakutsk. Now 49°C below zero.
- Сyclist in Yakutsk at minus 48°C.
- Nothing abnormal. At minus 60 in the village of Oimyakon people live a normal life.
Some tourists that visit Oymyakon are as extreme as its weather. These tourists from China weren’t afraid to dip in the thermal spring at about -60°C.
Photographers try using the cold in creative ways: “I really did take pictures of the ballerina outside in minus 41°C, and it’s not photoshopped”
“Now we’re brushing the snow off our Yakut horses. For us this is normal”, told one resident of the village.
The cold does, however, make the whole village look like a winter wonderland.
It’s not every day you’ll see such beauty in a mine tunnel.
Note that not all the photographs above were captured in the village of Oymyakon. Some of them were shot in Yakutsk, the coldest major city on Earth.
Locals have gotten these icy lashes that are perfectly worthy of becoming the newest beauty trend.
The Central Market In Yakutsk is full of fish and meat as the crops do not grow there.
The ‘Road Of Bones’ is the only route to Oymyakon.
Even the village sign reads ‘Omyakon, The Pole Of Cold’.
A thick layer of fur keeps these dogs warm.
Most toilets are built outside because the frozen ground makes it impossible to build indoor plumbing.
A Local farmer keeps his cows warm at night by tucking them away in this barn.
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Cars can only be placed in heated garages. The ones left outside must keep running, otherwise, they won’t restart.
The only working shop in Oymyakon provides the villagers with everything they need.
A coal heating plant keeps the villagers warm.
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Fishing market Yakutsk. Now 49°C below zero.
Сyclist in Yakutsk at minus 48°C.
Nothing abnormal. At minus 60 in the village of Oimyakon people live a normal life.
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