10 coldest cities in the world
Freeze in winter? Think it's too cold around here? Does the thought of the warm sun bring tears to your eyes? There are places where it is much, much colder, and yet people somehow exist there. How exactly do they live – in our top 10 coldest cities in the world. For all cities, a temperature winter record is indicated.
10. Harbin, China – minus 38,1°C
For the inhabitants of this city, even a harsh winter is a pleasure. Indeed, thanks to her, the International Snow and Ice Festival is held in Harbin. This is one of the largest ice festivals in the world. Ice sculptures are demonstrated there, swimming in the winter hole is organized, and skiing is held.
9. Longyearbyen, Norway – minus 46,3°C
In this settlement, located on the island of Western Svalbard, one of the the strangest bans in the world. You can't be born and die here. Therefore, there is no maternity hospital or cemetery here. And the bodies of the dead people are transported to the mainland. Longyearbyen is also known for the fact that an underground World Seed Vault was built here at the insistence of the UN. It will come in handy in the event of a global catastrophe.
8. Barrow, USA – minus 47°C
Colds come to this American city unexpectedly (almost like to Russian utilities). Even yesterday, people were driving quietly, but today it is already necessary to use snowplows. Because of such temperature fluctuations, living in Barrow is quite difficult. However, this is what homo sapiens is famous for, which can adapt to almost any conditions.
7. Winnipeg, Canada – minus 47,8°C
One of the coldest places on the planet is the capital of the Canadian province of Manitoba. The usual January lows there range from minus 20 to minus 22°C. And on December 24, 1879, the city temperature record was recorded – minus 47,8 ° C. It must have been an unpleasant day for the townspeople.
6. Yellowknife, Canada – minus 51°C
Founded in 1934, Yellowknife is the capital of Canada's Northwest Territories. It is home to over 20 people, most of them involved in the mining industry. The city boasts long and clear winter nights, which provide optimal conditions for viewing the Northern Lights from mid-November to early April.
5. Dudinka, Russia – minus 61°C
One of the northernmost cities in the world regularly faces extreme winter conditions. The average daily minimum temperature in January is minus 33 degrees Celsius.
• This city is home to the world's only ice stadium beyond the Arctic Circle – the Taimyr Ice Arena.
4. Norilsk, Russia – minus 64°C
Norilsk has never had a mild climate. In winter, it often reaches minus 40 degrees. However, in 2014, a new temperature minimum was recorded there – 64 ° C below zero. Interestingly, Norilsk and Murmansk are located almost at the same latitude. However, Murmansk is noticeably warmer.
3. Yakutsk, Russia – minus 64,4°C
The first three coldest cities on Earth are opened by the capital of the Republic of Sakha. It is famous for its very harsh winter conditions. The most extreme temperatures occur in January, with an average ranging from minus 38°C to minus 41°C. In 1891, a temperature record was set with a minus sign (64°C below zero).
• In addition, the winter season in Yakutsk may start much earlier than in other cities of the world.
2. Verkhoyansk, Russia – minus 67,7°C
Technically, this city can be considered the coldest on Earth, since the leader of our list is a village. There are few residents in Verkhoyansk – 1131 people as of 2017. And this is understandable, there are few who want to live in a place that bears the title "Cold Pole of the Northern Hemisphere".
1. Oymyakon, Russia – minus 71,2°C
Here is the answer to the question of which place is the coldest on Earth. The average winter temperature in Oymyakon is minus 50°C. And the lowest recorded temperature is an amazing -71,2 degrees. True, almost a century separates it from our time; it was measured in 1924. For comparison: in hottest place in the world the air warms up to 70 degrees.
Why is Oymyakon the coldest city in the world?
• The reason is the geographical location of the village, which was unlucky for several reasons at once. It is located in a river valley surrounded by mountains that form something like a horseshoe. The open top of the arc points north. At night, dense and heavy cold air flows down from the mountains and accumulates in the depression where the village is located.
• The height above sea level also plays a role: as a rule, the higher the place, the colder it is. Summer in the village is short, only three months, but hot, with large temperature fluctuations; if during the day it can be plus 30 ° C, then at night the air cools down to minus.
• The irony lies in the very name "Oymyakon". It comes from an Evenki word meaning a non-freezing spring, or a place where fish spend the winter. There is indeed a spring near the village, because of which, apparently, local residents began to settle here. They quickly got used to low temperatures.
• -40°C is considered cold, but not too cold. -25°C – unusually warm. It helps to adapt to the cold and the fact that the weather is usually calm – with it it is easier to endure cold. Locals even say that they prefer to live here, and not where the winters are more moderate, but windy and wet. They measure the temperature with special thermometers with a mercury-thallium alloy so that the mercury does not freeze. Their maximum minimum temperature is minus 61,1°C.
• At such temperatures, the simplest actions like taking a child to kindergarten or school, going to the store turn into a whole quest. Usually, the inhabitants of Oymyakon during the “winter” months try to go out less – only to the grocery store, quickly, quickly, wrapping themselves in a scarf and additionally pressing a mitten to their face.
• But residents of Yakutsk, located two days away, have to call a taxi, or travel only by private transport. By the way, frost is no excuse for Oymyakon children to miss school – it works down to -52°C.
What clothes save from frost in Oymyakon
Locals dress, of course, in furs – the more natural and thicker, the better. Fur hats, high boots (made of leather and deer fur), mittens, and, of course, a scarf over the whole face to protect the skin from burns. Faux fur is not suitable from the word at all. In the cold, it quickly becomes unusable, and sometimes literally breaks.
• Children to attend kindergarten are wrapped up to such an extent that they are practically unable to move independently – only eyebrows and eyes are visible. Therefore, parents carry them on sleds, and the fur blanket that is laid on these sleds is pre-warmed.
It is impossible to grow crops in permafrost conditions, so the locals mainly eat dense protein foods. Stroganina has firmly settled in the menu, like many centuries ago, among the indigenous peoples of the North. This is shavings from a frozen piece of meat or fish. And the daily menu most often consists of a thick soup with the same meat or fish. In such a climate, local residents do not need refrigerators, because everything is stored right outside the window.
The inhabitants of Oymyakon keep cattle, but in such cold weather they try not to let them out. In winter, only hardy Yakut horses (they are covered with a long thick six) and dogs are let out on the street. Cows, on the other hand, see the white winter light only in case of emergency, and then they specially wrap their udders so that they do not freeze.
• Permafrost, extreme low temperatures and sewerage are incompatible things, so most of the toilets in Oymyakon are outside the houses. Oymyakon is provided with heat by a local coal-fired thermal power plant. Its condition, as well as the central heating in the city of Yakutsk, located two days away, is being checked already in June. Then they replace the pipes, if necessary.
• Power outages are the worst thing that can happen in the Far North. If this happens, all Oymyakon residents take to the streets and try to heat the most necessary buildings for the village with burners – a kindergarten, a single store, a canteen. The pipes had to be dug out and warmed by hand to keep them from freezing. Fortunately, this doesn't happen often.
There are two ways to get from Yakutsk to Oymyakon – either by car or by air. Planes fly only during the warmest time of the year, in summer, and no more than once a week. Therefore, the main connection with the world is carried out through road transport. The classic UAZ “loaf” is considered the most enduring, capable of overcoming more than a thousand kilometers of a crusted ice and snow highway without any special consequences for itself.
• Cars in the Far North require special, careful handling. Drivers often put a wool blanket over the hood and another under it to "warm up" the engine and electrics. The windows of cars in the north are double-glazed to prevent ice crusts. If the car is outside, it must be kept at idle. It can only be stopped in a heated garage. If you stop the engine in the open air, the battery will instantly freeze and it will be impossible to start the car. Therefore, if suddenly the engine stalls somewhere outside the city, you have to thaw the battery over the fire and, in addition, heat the metal casing under the engine.
• Carriers for long distances do not turn off the engines of their iron horses for literally months. Due to the harsh northern conditions, the vast majority of gas stations in the Yakutsk region operate 24 hours a day.
• Constantly running car engines, breathing of people and steam from working industrial enterprises create a dense veil that covers Yakutsk in the coldest time of the year. Sometimes it is so thick that nothing can be seen at a distance of ten steps.
• It is better not to get small electronics in the conditions of the Far North on the street, because they instantly turn into a piece of ice. Therefore, the owners keep them in their inner pockets, warming them with the heat of their own bodies, and take them out only in heated rooms. Taking pictures in such sub-zero temperatures is very difficult.
Disease and death
Surprisingly, in such extreme colds, colds do not happen. Viruses and bacteria simply freeze out. Freezing something is easy, but catching a cold is not. However, this is not as good as it seems, and if a resident of Oymyakon moves to warmer climes, he risks constantly catching a cold.
• The harsh climate is a great test for the human body, so there are almost no long-livers among the inhabitants of the Far North. In addition to extreme temperatures, vitamin deficiencies and a monotonous diet play a role. Eternal winter affects both the beginning and the end of human life – in the freezing cold it is impossible to dig up a grave, so if one of the inhabitants of the village dies, the earth has to be warmed with bonfires.
How do the locals feel about this climate?
Autumn in the Far North is the saddest time of the year. The short summer is over, and a long and very cold winter lies ahead. However, when it finally comes, and the dull slush is covered with fresh snow, white and clean, the inhabitants of the Yakutsk region seem to rejoice at the arrival of cold weather. Complaints are usually caused not by the frost itself as such, but by the poor performance of utilities – if the heating does not work or an accident has occurred. The heat causes much more criticism – starting from June, northerners accustomed to cold weather begin to complain about the heat.
• True, in recent years, the inhabitants of Yakutia (those who can afford it) prefer to wait out the winter in warmer places. For example, in Thailand, there is a direct air line between Yakutsk and Bangkok. And their places are occupied by tourists – amazingly, Oymyakon is becoming a popular place for those who like to feel the bestial grin of real cold.
How does cold affect the human body?
- At minus 5°C, frost is more invigorating than uncomfortable – to protect yourself from it, just put on a warm hat, wrap your throat with a scarf, and you will be warm and comfortable.
- At minus 20 °, moisture in the nasal mucosa begins to freeze, and cold air burns the nasopharynx.
- At minus 35°C, frostbite on exposed skin is a very real danger.
- And at minus 45 ° C, only a masochist can wear glasses in a metal frame – the metal sticks to the cheekbones and nose, and you will have to take off the glasses along with pieces of skin.