“And We Think We Have Had Cold Weather” Says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.
Coldest village in the world just got even COLDER... weather takes turn for the worse in -71C Russian hamlet where even the planes can't land in winter
As we whinge about the wintry weather here in Britain, spare a thought for those living in a Russian hamlet where temperatures can plummet to -71C, so cold even planes cannot land there in winter.
The valley of Oymyakon in northeast Russia is known as the 'Pole of Cold' and with an average January temperature of -50C, it is no wonder the village is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world.
The village, which is home to about 500 people, was, in the 1920s and 1930s, a stopover for reindeer herders who would water their flocks from the thermal spring.
But the Soviet government, in its efforts to settle nomadic populations, believing them to be difficult to control and technologically and culturally backward, made the site a permanent settlement.
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.
Ironically, Oymyakon actually means 'non-freezing water' due to a nearby hot spring.
Most homes in Oymyakon still burn coal and wood for heat and enjoy few modern conveniences.
Nothing grows there so people eat reindeer meat and horsemeat. A single shop provides the town's bare necessities and the locals work as reindeer-breeders, hunters and ice-fisherman.
Doctors say the reason the locals don't suffer from malnutrition is that their animals' milk contains a lot of micronutrients.
Unsurprisingly, locals are hardened to the weather and unlike in other countries - where a flurry of snow brings things grinding to a halt, Oymyakon's solitary school only shuts if temperatures fall below -52C.
The village is located around 750 metres above sea level and the length of a day varies from 3 hours in December to 21 hours in the summer.
And despite its terrible winters, in June, July and August temperatures over 30c are not uncommon.
“So what are we complaining about” says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.