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Coldest town on earth - Oymyakon

Oymyakon - the coldest inhabited place on Earth - a small rural town in central Oymyakonsky District in Sakha, eastern Russia

Oymyakon is the coldest inhabited place on Earth - a small rural town in central Oymyakonsky, a district of Sakha in eastern Russia.

By local standards, the lives of roughly 500 resilient, hardworking residents of Oymyakon are fairly normal. And I wouldn't argue otherwise. That is, with the exception being the bone-chilling, sub-zero weather conditions they have to endure.

However, the settlement sits about 745 meters above sea level. And as if the weather wasn't harsh enough, sunshine is also extreme. The town sees about three hours of daylight during the winter and 21 in the summer.

So, how cold is Oymyakon?

Well, during the winter months, temperatures in Oymyakon average at -58 degrees Celsius, but they can plummet to a record low of minus-67.7°C. And that's exactly what a thermometer at a weather station read on 6 February 1933.

This is also the lowest temperature ever recorded outside of Antarctica, making Oymyakon the coldest permanently inhabited place on the official Guinness World Records, with a daily mean temperature of January at −46.4 °C.

According to the intergovernmental organization - World Meteorological Organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, the record is shared with the neighboring town of Verkhoyansk where the temperature dropped to -67.7°C (-90°F) on 5 and 7 February 1892. However, Verkhoyansk's daily mean temperatures for January are −45.5 °C.

That being said, this record is still far from that of the world's coldest temperature ever recorded, which was -94.7°C logged by a NASA satellite in east Antarctica in 2013.

How do locals deal with the extreme cold?

Well, for that the locals mostly burn wood and coal for warmth and eat a lot of meat.

Other Coldest recorded temperatures outside Antarctica

  • -67.7 °C Russia (Siberia) 1933
  • -66.1 °C Greenland 1954
  • -63.0 °C Canada 1947
  • -62.2 °C USA (Alaska) 1971
  • -58.1 °C Russia 1978
  • -57 °C USA (Montana) 1954
  • -55.3 °C Mongolia 1976
  • -53.6 °C Kyrgzstan 1945
  • -52.6 °C Sweden 1966
  • -52.3 °C China 1969
  • -51.5 °C Finland 1999.