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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oymyakon - The Coldest Permanently Inhabited Place On Earth

Oymyakon/Ojmjakon/Oimyakon (map) is the coldest permanently inhabited place on earth. Located in Siberia, the lowest recorded temperature here is -71.2 degrees Celsius. According to Wikipedia this is the lowest officially recorded temperature in the northern hemisphere.

The village has a population of around 800 and is located 690 meters above sea level and lies in a valley between two mountain ranges (the reason for the low temperatures). The name Oymyakon means "non-freezing water" because of the natural hot spring close to the village.

The temperature this week is pretty low and the temperature tomorrow is a chilly -63C which based on the stats at Wikipedia equals the record low for December.

There aren't a great deal of images and videos on the net (here's an account of a trip in 1996) but here are two video reports, one from Sky News and the other from RTL.

It's interesting how the school children only get a day off when the temperature drops below -52C yet over here a light dusting can cause widespread disruption. And even though the RTL report is not in English check out the shirt that breaks in two.

Sky News



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