The absolute Pole of Cold — the Oymyakon village

For many of us, especially the inhabitants of the southern and central parts of Russia, the winter cold, reaching as low as minus 20 or 25 degrees, constitute an extreme event, making us crave for the arrival of spring with its warm days to put on less clothes.

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However, on the vast territory of the Russian Federation there are certain areas where the temperature -40°C is considered as a quite normal natural phenomenon with people working, children going to school, and young mothers walking with their kids on the streets laden with snow. What we have in mind in the first place is a small spot on the map of the Russian Federation, such as the Oymyakon village, located almost in the very north of Yakutia, on the left bank of the Indigirka river.

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Due to its territorial and geographical location, Oymyakon has been the place of the lowest temperature recorded in the entire Northern Hemisphere. It happened in 1938, when the village had a temperature of -77.8°C, what was then a world record of the lowest temperature on our planet.

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Although the stem of thermometer at the Vostok Antarctic station once fell to minus 89.2 degrees, this «record» cannot be considered objective, since that station is at a fairly large distance from the world’s sea level, slightly less than 3500 meters. If recalculated to the appropriate sea level, then Antarctic station had experienced a frost impact of only -68.3°C. With this in mind, the absolute Pole of Cold is located rightfully in Russian Oymyakon.

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It is also worth noting that despite the fierce cold in the winter, the inhabitants of this settlement are in no better position during the summer season. Indeed, in June and July the temperature rises up to -30-35 degrees. So one can be absolutely sure that Oymyakon may not be the absolute Pole of Cold but it definitely is the absolute pole of extreme temperatures of the planet.