Welcome to Oymyakon, Russia, where the village thermometer was no match for recent temperatures of -80 degrees Fahrenheit.
In 1933, the Siberian village of Oymyakon earned the title of coldest inhabited place on Earth when the mercury plunged to a chilly -94 degrees Fahrenheit (-68 Celsius). Sitting at 63.4608° N, 142.7858° E latitude, several hundred miles from the Arctic Circle, the frigid spot remains dark up to 21 hours a day during the winter, with an average temperature of -58 F.
It is so cold, writes Sabrina Barr, that “Most people use outhouses, because indoor plumbing tends to freeze. Cars are kept in heated garages or, if left outside, left running all the time. Crops don’t grow in the frozen ground, so people have a largely carnivorous diet—reindeer meat, raw flesh shaved from frozen fish, and ice cubes of horse blood with macaroni are a few local delicacies.”
It is also a mecca for extreme tourists looking to chill, so to speak … so much so that last year the village installed a digital thermometer to display the impressive digits. Yet lo and behold, when the recent temperature dropped to -80 F, the thermometer simply surrendered and stopped working, reports Barr. Can you blame it?
Along with the distinction of being the coldest place on Earth, the village might have a new title as well: Home of the frozen eyelash photo – as evidenced by the Instagram images of Anastasia Gruzdeva, a 24-year-old who, along with her friends, is seen sporting the latest in makeup trends courtesy of Mother Nature.
For more, grab some hot cocoa and watch scenes from the coldest place on the planet in the video below.