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What Goes On In Oymyakon, The Coldest Place On Earth

Travelers Today       By    Marc Delize

Updated: Jan 31, 2017 05:07 AM EST

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The coldest inhabited place on earth is Oymyakon, a remote Russian village. The temperature reaches up to -71.2 degrees Celsius in Oymyakon. Ironically, Oymyakon actually means 'non-freezing water' due to a nearby hot spring.

The town Oymyakon was originally a stop-over for reindeer herders who would water their flocks from the thermal spring in the 1920's and 1930's, according to Daily Mail Co UK. To get there, one will have to take a 6-hour flight from Moscow and undergo an arduous drive from Yakutsk, the nearest big city.

Oymyakon has approximately 500 residents. But the Soviet government, in its drive to settle the nomadic populations and believing them to be hard to control and technologically and culturally backward, made the place a permanent settlement for them. Most locals work as reindeer-breeders, hunters and ice-fisherman.

Nothing is able to grow in Oymyakon, so people live on reindeer and horse meat. Physicians say the reason the locals don't suffer from malnutrition is that their animals' milk provides lots of micronutrients. There are cows, horses, reindeers and dogs in Oymyakon. The East Siberian Laikas have thick fur to keep them warm.

Most homes in Oymyakon still burn coal and wood for heat and enjoy few modern conveniences. When coal deliveries are irregular the power station starts burning wood. If the power ceases, the town shuts down in five hours, and the pipes freeze and cracks. Cars are usually left running the whole day for it might be hard to re-start again.

Oymyakon is 750 metres above sea level, which means the sun shines for merely 3 hours in a day. Indoor plumbing often freezes so they use outhouses instead. A funeral can take 3 days because they need coal to thaw the freezing ground. Oymyakon's only school closes if temperatures fall below -52C. Some daily problems of residents are pen ink freezing, glasses freezing to people's faces and batteries losing power.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

Tags
Oymyakon, Russian, Moscow, soviet, East Siberian
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