After all, we people in India fear to our bones when winter arrives, a temperature that hits merely below double digits is all enough to restrict our movements to four walls. Imagine, a place where even the eyelashes chill up turning icy within a blink? Well, welcome to the coldest village on earth where the average temperature in January is -50C.
This remote Siberian village of Oymyakon is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world. It was so icy in the Russian village that a new electronic thermometer conked out after recording a bone-cracking minus 62C. The official weather station at the ‘pole of cold’ registered minus 59C, but locals said their readings were as low as minus 67C – less than 1C off the lowest accepted temperature for a permanent settlement anywhere in the world.
However, the digital thermometer was installed last year to help Oymyakon market itself to tourists, but it gave up the ghost at minus 62C.
‘It broke because it was too cold,’ reported The Siberian Times. The village is home to around 500 hardy people and in the 1920s and 1930s was a stopover for reindeer herders who would water their flocks from the thermal spring. This is how the town got its name which translates as ‘the water that doesn’t freeze’.
The Soviet government later made the site a permanent settlement during a drive to force its nomadic population into putting down roots. Though further lower temperatures are recorded in Antarctica, there are no signs of permanently inhabited settlements.
Daily problems that come with living in Oymyakon include pen ink freezing, glasses freezing to people’s faces and batteries losing power. Locals are said to leave their cars running all day for fear of not being able to restart them. Rock solid earth makes burying the dead a difficult task. The earth must first have thawed sufficiently in order to dig, so a bonfire is lit for a few hours.
Watch the video here:
Amidst all this, the hot coals are pushed to the side and a hole just a few inches deep is dug. The process is repeated for several days until the hole is deep enough to bury the coffin.
Feelin lucky now? Well, this story is as scary as it goes.