The coldest place on earth is experiencing near-record low temperatures that are making life brutal for many residents. Earlier this week, people in the Russian region of Yakutia endured temperature drops of minus 67 degrees Celsius (minus 88.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in certain spots.
The region is known for its severe and extreme climate, so the nearly 1 million people who live there are used to harsh weather conditions. As such, the cold temperatures didn’t even make local media headlines.
Located about 3,300 miles east of Moscow, Yakutia was so cold that school was cancelled. This is a rarity because it’s common for kids to attend classes when temps are minus 40 degrees. However, temperatures reached such dangerous levels that police mandated parents keep their children home, reported Time.
Two men froze to death after their car broke down and they attempted to seek shelter and help at a nearby farm. Three of their companions survived because they had on warmer clothing.
The town of Oymyakon is one of the earth’s coldest inhabited places, and a television station showed the mercury falling so low it couldn’t measure the accurate temperature on the thermometer (which only goes to minus 50). The town experienced an all-time low in 2013 with minus 71 degrees Celsius (minus 98 Fahrenheit).
Photos from the area have been making the rounds in the news and social media. Some brave Chinese students were pictured taking a dip in a thermal spring, while photos of women with frozen eyelashes also dominated news feeds.
In winter, Yakutians subside on primarily a meat-based diet, including items such as raw fish, reindeer meat, horse liver, and ice cubes of horse blood. Most homes use outhouses because the ground is too frozen to accommodate pipes. Those who work outside do so in 20-minute shifts. Homes and businesses use central heating and have backup power generators in order to stay warm.