Oymyakon in Russia is the coldest inhabited place in the world. It has recorded an all-time low temperature of -88 degrees Fahrenheit and an average of -58 degrees Fahrenheit. Just the number is giving us the shivers. By Shubhanjana Das
Oymyakon is a small, isolated outpost in Siberia, which resembles a B&W picture, thanks to the stunning white of the snow and the lack of colours in this frosty place. Cars are kept running even when they are not driven to keep the engine heated, eyelashes and even saliva freeze! Hypothermia and frostbites are commonplace in Oymyakon, which remains in darkness for 21 hours of the day, giving the inhabitants a time window of only 4 hours for any outdoor activity. Courtesy a thermal spring that never freezes, Oymyakon used to be a stopover for reindeer herders. The population of Oymyakon is (not so) surprisingly low with only 500 residents. The forbidding temperatures are no easy feat and make even walking and dressing a tedious task
The roads are all untrodden as people hardly leave the house except for the extreme necessities. Given that 2013 saw an all-time low recorded temperature of -98 degrees Fahrenheit, Oymyakon’s reputation of being the coldest inhabited place in the world is only justified. The diet of the Oymyakon’s population is mostly carnivorous since it is impossible for the Earth to yield any crop under the ever-present snow. Reindeer meat and frozen fish may have been heard of before, but pasta served with a sauce made from melting ice cubes of horse blood is simply MIND BLOWING, much like the place itself.
But, does life stop at Oymyakon during the winters? No, not really. Activities go on indoors as the inhabitants have, if not gotten used to the extreme, biting cold, at least found their way around to survive in it. Even though it amuses us to think that such a place could be inhabited by a human population, is it not a fantastic example of our capability to adapt to even the least habitable places on Earth?