It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

For humans, the most suitable for living and living in the average body temperature is fifteen degrees to eighteen degrees Celsius, this temperature range for humans, not cold, not hot, everything just right. And the most widely distributed population of the temperate zone is the closest to this habitable temperature zone, generally speaking, in the middle temperate zone, four seasons like spring, very suitable for human survival.

In the tropics near the equator, although often suffer from high temperatures and sunlight, but for people who are afraid of cold, winter in the tropics is also a very wise choice, the equatorial region of winter is not cold, but very warm and comfortable.

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

Then, accordingly, the high latitude cold regions are very suitable for the survival of humans who are afraid of heat, and the short and cool summer here is an excellent summer resort.

However, even in China, such as the northernmost territory of Mohe, the average winter temperature is only between negative 20 degrees to negative 30 degrees, which for most humans living in the average temperature of about 20 degrees above zero in the temperate tropics, is already considered a very exaggerated low temperature limit, many people living in high latitudes all year round are not necessarily able to carry such low temperatures.

But further north, to a place called Oymyakon in northeastern Siberia, can even reach a low temperature of minus 71 degrees Celsius, known as the Earth's "very cold place".

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

However, in such a harsh and unimaginable low temperature environment, but there are five hundred residents living all year round, they are called Oimyacan people. These Oimyacan people not only live peacefully for generations in this extremely cold place, but many local people have expressed their love for this cold climate.

Even the life expectancy of local residents is much longer than that of residents in other areas, and most of the elderly people can live to be hundreds of years old, so Oymyakon is also regarded as a place of longevity. So, how do the people here survive in the harsh environment of -71℃? How did they fall in love with this "land of extreme cold"?

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?


First, let's understand how the extreme temperatures of this extremely cold land are formed and how it attracts human habitation.

Oymyakon, located in a basin in the northeastern part of the Russian Siberian Plain, is part of the Sakha Republic, three hundred and fifty kilometers south of the Arctic Circle.

Because the northern part of the basin in which Oymyakon is located is low and flat, there is no mountainous terrain to resist the cold wave from the Arctic, while the other three sides of the terrain are relatively high, the cold wave from the Arctic all converge in the basin area where Oymyakon is located, the extreme cold wave airflow "only in and out", at the same time, these three highlands also block the warm and humid airflow from the south, extinguishing all possibilities of temperature arrival.

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

In addition, Oymyakon itself is located at a high latitude, receiving less solar radiation, and belongs to the sub-cold continental climate, so Oymyakon is "ice on ice", becoming one of the coldest places in the northern hemisphere; in the 1930s, it even reached a very low temperature of minus 71 degrees, and won the name of "cold pole".

The name Oymyakon, which translates as "unfrozen water", refers to a hot spring near Oymyakon, where in the old days, reindeer people used to rest near this hot spring to warm themselves and give their reindeer water. Over time, many people gathered here, and gradually in the 1920s and 1930s it developed into a village with a permanent population of 500 people, and the villagers got into the habit of collecting water from the "unfrozen water".

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

Due to the extreme cold climate, Oymyakon is extremely brief and cool in summer, with an average temperature of only about 14 degrees Celsius in July and an average temperature of -50 degrees Celsius in January. As a result, the soil here is all permafrost, very solid and unsuitable for almost any food crops, and the water is basically frozen.

At the same time, at this level of extremely low temperatures, many electronic products and modern industrial products will be damaged. Not only that, but the damage to the human body from extremely low temperatures is equally obvious. Skin exposed to cold air will be frostbitten within seconds, eyelashes will freeze instantly, and breathing outdoors you can even hear the sound of your exhaled gas turning into ice slag. So, how do the people of Oymyakon survive in such a place where the breath becomes ice?

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

How do the Oimyacan people live?

  • Live

First of all, it is not easy to build houses in Oymyakon because the permafrost is hard, cold and unstable. Therefore, the ground piles of Oymyakon houses need to be driven very deep to maintain the solidity and stability of the houses. Moreover, the houses need to be kept at least one meter apart from the ground to prevent snow from flooding the houses, and to prevent the heat from the heating facilities inside the house from melting the permafrost and causing the houses to collapse.

At the same time, in order to keep warm and cold, the walls of the house will be built extra thick, even the windows and doors are set up four or five layers to block the cold, and a thermometer will be placed at the door of each house to monitor the temperature, depending on the temperature.

At the same time, the house also took a very strong heating facilities, each household must be fueled by coal and firewood heating fireplace, and installed similar to the floor heating heating device, so that its indoor temperature can be maintained at about twenty degrees Celsius for a long time. At the same time, in order to prevent the water pipes from freezing, the water pipes here are not buried in the frozen soil, but laid on the ground, and pipe heating stations are set up at regular intervals between the pipes to prevent them from freezing.

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

  • line

In addition to living, Oymyakon people's daily travel are required to use a Russian-made Ural buggy using the engine of the blowtorch flame, and UAZ jeep to be able to start properly, other ordinary car engines in this extreme low temperature environment are unable to start. Moreover, once the car engine is started, it will not just go out, because it is difficult to restart it after it has gone out.

At the same time, in the first few kilometers of the vehicle successfully started driving, must have to maintain a straight line of direction, once the turn is very likely to accident, therefore, the focus of the local test driving license subject three is also a straight line of driving.

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

There is only one road to Oymyakon, and it is also called the "White Bone Highway". This is because in Soviet times, Yakutsk, the city to which Oymyakon belongs, was a place of exile for political prisoners, known as the "Stalin's Circle of Death", who often froze to death in the extreme temperatures during the construction of the road to Oymyakon.

After being frozen to death, the bones of these prisoners will be buried directly on both sides of the road, the roadside is full of cross gravestones, "White Bone Road" thus named. Not only that, many of the way "white bones of the road" vehicles will encounter traffic accidents, falling into the roadside ice lake, adding to the "white bones of the road" spooky color.

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

Here, due to the extremely low temperature, cell phones, cameras, computers and other electronic products can not be used normally, the battery power consumption is also very rapid, the Internet speed is also slower, in the extremely cold temperature will even face disconnection.

That's why Oimyacan people who are outdoors rarely take their cell phones out of their pockets and walk extremely fast and don't stay outdoors for long.

Also, the glass lenses here are prone to freezing and cracking, and the fountain pen ink can freeze. But fortunately, few people here wear glasses, and writing mostly relies on pencils and ball pens.

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

Residents here smoke a special long-handled pipe as an aid, because traditional cigarettes are likely to burn gloves, gloves once burned will be extremely low temperature to frostbite, so in order to be safe, need to give the traditional cigarette set a long-handled pipe.

In addition, in Oymyakon, going to the toilet has also become a very inconvenient thing. This is due to the special construction method of local houses, which makes it difficult to build sewer pipes, and even if there are sewer pipes, it is likely that the pipes will be blocked by the solidification of excrement due to extreme cold weather. Therefore, the toilet needs to go to the triangular shaped hut outside the house to dig the thatch pit to solve the problem centrally.

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

  • Clothes

Of course, in addition to ensuring the normal operation of the object facilities in the extreme cold environment, human warmth measures are also very important. Here the clothing is mainly dressed in the warmest fur products, and, from head to toe every inch of the skin to be wrapped in fur, from leather clothes and pants to leather boots and fur, the neck also need to use the fur collar and scarf file tightly.

More cold, but also need to use a scarf to cover the face, leaving only a pair of eyes exposed to identify the direction, the head of the hat should also be fully armed, usually three layers of thickness, and a circle of long furry rabbit fur will be wrapped around the face to protect against the cold wind.

However, even with the full armor of clothing, the outdoors of Oymyakon is not suitable for prolonged survival, so schools are closed during the coldest part of the year to keep residents warm at home and reduce frostbite outside.

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

  • Food

Since the extreme cold environment here is not suitable for the growth of plants and crops, Oimyakon's food sources are mostly meat, poultry and milk to develop animal husbandry and hunting for a living, and prefer to use high sugar and fat flavors to consume enough calories to ward off the cold. The specialties here are frozen sashimi, reindeer meat and berry milk cakes. This is because, in the extreme cold, fish is salvaged and immediately frozen into solid ice cubes, which can be eaten in thin slices.

It is said that the subcutaneous fat of these frozen fish is rich in an age-delaying and heart-healthy substance, which is well preserved and absorbed in this way of consumption in Oymyakon; in addition, it is difficult for bacteria and viruses to survive in the extreme cold environment here, and there is no industrial pollution, so the water and air quality are of the best level.

Therefore, the native inhabitants here have a long life expectancy. Except for the local specialty meat and milk, the rest of the fruits and vegetables and nuts and cookies need to be imported from the south, and most of them are some hardy varieties.

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?

  • Funeral

In this extremely cold place, people need some "special skills" in addition to survival, after death, also need some "special skills" to bury. Due to the hard and difficult to dig the permafrost, need to burn coal on the ground for several hours, the permafrost will be slightly melted and then continue to dig down, and cycle this operation to dig out the depth suitable for burying the dead, the whole process takes a full three days.

Moreover, many carcasses in this permafrost environment are able to be well preserved, buried down what kind of digging out is what kind. So, the most complete mammoth specimens have also been unearthed here, even fresh as if they were still alive.

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?


So, it is not an easy thing to live normally in such an extremely cold place as Oymyakon. In such an extremely cold environment, the footsteps of modern industry do not seem too eager to set foot in this village either.

As a result, the lifestyle and architecture of Oymyakon remain relatively traditional and primitive in form, but also thanks to the absence of industrial pollution, the people here have a long survival life span as long as they can grow up successfully. So, would you like to come and live in such a place?

It can be as cold as -71°C! How do the Oymyacan people survive in the "coldest place" on Earth?