Living in the “coldest village in the world,” residents of Oymyakon, Russia, are familiar with freezing temperatures. However, this year, the cold has been exceptionally bitter, causing the tiny town’s digital thermometer to break at a bone-chilling -62° Celsius (-80° Fahrenheit).
Each winter, the villagers in this rural Russian village (which has a population of around 500) can expect to face an average minimum temperature of about −50° Celsius (−58 °Fahrenheit) as well as up to 21 hours of darkness per day. While one may expect such extreme conditions to interfere with everyday life, inhabitants of Oymyakon bravely carry on with their work, school, and shopping (at the town’s only store, no doubt)—even if it turns their eyelashes into icicles!
Nestled in the northeast corner of Siberia along the Oymyakon River—whose name translates to “unfrozen patch of water” or “place where fish spend the winter”—Oymyakon is 6 timezones away from Russia’s bustling capital city, Moscow. Though the village itself is relatively remote, it is located near Yakutsk, a vibrant city with a population of about 300,000.
To learn more about life in chilly Oymyakon and neighboring Yakutsk, check out our eye-opening interview with photographer Amos Chapple.
Believed to be the coldest place on Earth inhabited by people, Oymyakon, Russia, is no stranger to frigid winters.
This year, however, temperatures dropped to such extreme lows that the village’s thermometer broke.