Oymyakon

A toilet on the tundra at a petrol stop on the road to Oymyakon.  Journey to Oymyakon, considered by many to be the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world.

The village of Oymyakon in Russia is widely considered to be the coldest inhabited place on Earth. A temperature of ?90 °F (?67.7 °C) was recorded there back in 1933 — the lowest recorded temperature for any permanently inhabited spot in the world. Situated in an area known as Stalin’s Death Ring the village was originally a stopover for reindeer herders who would water their flocks from a thermal spring.

With an extreme subarctic climate Oymyakon is known as one of the candidates for the Northern Pole of Cold, the other being the town of Verkhoyansk. The ground there is permanently frozen (continuous permafrost).

Oymyakon

For the most part the landscape is white year-round; just about everything is covered with snow and ice. The principle industries are still very traditional, with fur trading and ice fishing stalwarts of the local economy.

It’s a very remote place, the nearest city is Yakutsk which is a three day drive away. There’s no mobile phone signal, though mobile phones wouldn’t work at such low temperatures anyway!

Oymyakon by  Amos Chapple

Whilst Oymyakon is a long way from my destination, Svalbard, but it’s fascinating to undertake some research into some other arctic locations before my trip in order to get a sense of the breadth of the arctic region, and the scoieties and cultures that inhabit these regions.


Photos (top to bottom)
by Amos Chapple
by Maarten Takens
by Amos Chapple