Places so cold that it seems impossible for people to inhabit them

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Oymyakon in winter, Siberia, Russia

The cold returns to visit us and it is convenient to remember that on many occasions we complain of vice. For this, we will take a look at the coldest places on the planet where, although it may seem incredible, people live throughout the year.

The citizens of places like Verkhoyansk, Yakutsk o Oymyakon (both in Russia) live lives very different from ours, at least in winter. For example, drivers in these cities leave their cars torn up in parking lots for long hours while shopping or running errands, often having to heat the lubricating oil in their cars with a blowtorch to defrost it.

La lowest temperature ever recorded on the earth's surface, as we talked about in the article a few days ago, it occurred in an area close to an Antarctic mountain range, reaching values ​​below 92ºC on a clear winter night. Although none of the cities that we are going to list reaches these temperatures, some of them are dangerously close to these values. These are the two coldest inhabited places on the planet.

Verkhoyansk, Russia

According to the 2002 census, Verkhoyansk (Russia) had 1434 inhabitants; people who are able to get on with their lives in the deep Siberian wilderness. This city was founded as a fort in 1638 and serves as a regional center for cattle raising and for the extraction of gold and tin. It is located 650 km from Yakutsh and 2400 km from the north pole. Verkhoyansk was used to house political exiles between 1860 and the beginning of the last century.

Not surprisingly, the exiles were chosen to be sent to Verkhoyansk. In January the average temperature is about 45ºC below zero, and between the months of October and April this average remains below freezing levels. In 1982, its inhabitants registered temperatures of almost 68ºC below zero, a temperature that is still the lowest ever reached in this place. These temperatures mean that in the colder seasons people do not go outside for several days.

Oymyakon, Russia

The inhabitants of Oymyakon remind us, when Verkhoyansk claims to be the coldest place in the northern hemisphere, that their city also registered a temperature of 68ºC below zero on February 6, 1933. Depending on who you ask, between 500 and 800 people call Oymyakon home. Oymyakon is located a three-day drive from Yakutsk, the capital of the Republic of Saja in eastern Siberia. In this place the schools remain open with temperatures below 46ºC below zero.

This town takes its name from a hot spring, which some of its inhabitants use as a hot water tap, breaking the thick layer of ice that covers it during winter. The Oymyakon Tourism Board presents this town as the perfect destination for adventure-hungry travelers who like extreme experiences.

These are the two most extreme cases, but there are other places in the world where the cold makes the life and customs of its people, at least, peculiar.

More information: Abnormally high temperature in the coldest placeThe lowest temperature ever recorded on earth