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Coldest Inhabited Place on Earth: Oymyakon Averages -58F in Winter [VIDEO]

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Jan 22, 2013 04:27 PM EST

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Think it's cold out? If you've been to the Russian village of Oymyakon, you might think it was summer outside. Oymyakon is the coldest village in the world, with the average winter temperature being -58F (-50C) and dropping as low as -96.16F (-71.2C).

Oymyakon, also known as the "Pole of the Cold," is the coldest village in the world, so you'd never guess that people actually live there. In fact, close to 500 people dwell in the area which once reached -96.16 F, the coldest temperature ever recorded for any inhabited location on earth and the lowest temperature ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere, the Daily Mail reports.

Oymaykon was first created as a stop for reindeer herders who would provide water to their animals from a thermal spring in the 1920's and 1930's. Oymyakon ironically means "non-freezing water," but that's because it is home to a hot spring. However the Soviet government wanted the nomads to settle so they made Oymyakon a permanent settlement.

In a place that is so cold, you might think they would have an advanced heating system, but the inhabitants live very simply. They burn coal and wood as a heat source.  Their only fashion trend in fur as it is a necessity to keep warm.

They also continue to eat reindeer meat and horsemeat and they get their nutrition from the milk of their animals as nothing is grown in the area. There's only one store in town which only provides basic necessities. Those who have jobs work as reindeer breeders, hunters and fisherman.

In order to use the toilet, many inhabitants have to go out into the cold as many buildings only have outdoor bathrooms.

The power station runs on burned coal or wood and if they run out, the town shuts down within five hours and pipes start to freeze and burst.

Cell phones don't exist there because they wouldn't function there. There is no mobile coverage and it's so cold that the electronic devices wouldn't work anyway.

While schools around many parts of the country might shut down due to a layer of snow, classes at the town's only school won't be cancelled in Oymyakon unless the temperature drops below -61.9 F (-52C).

Daily life is inconvenient for inhabitants. Pen ink freezes, batteries lose power quickly and metal sticks to the skin. If you want to start your car, you need to light a bonfire under the fuel tank.

Despite it being so cold, Oymyakon does attract tourists who visit the village just for the experience. Tourists can take tours of local farms, museums and even try out ice fishing or take a dip in the hot spring.

Oymaykon isn't just cold. It also has varied day lengths. At 2,460 feet above sea level, daylight can last as short as three hours in December to 21 hours in the summer.

Residents do get relief in the summer. During June, July and August, temperatures can reach around 86 F.

 

 

 

 

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