Timeout

Thermometer in world’s coldest village breaks as temperatures plunge to -62C


The thermometer in a remote Siberian village known as the coldest inhabited place on earth has broken as temperatures plunged to near-record depths.

The public device, which was installed in Oymyakon as a tourist attraction, recorded -62C, before malfunctioning this week.

Meanwhile the Siberian Times reports that some locals had readings as low as -67C - in touching distance of the record -67.7C, which was logged in the village in February 1933.

That temperature was the lowest ever recorded outside the Antarctic and cemented the village, in the Yakutia region, the coldest permanently-inhabited place on earth.

Yet it is still some way off the coldest temperature ever recorded on the planet, which was -94.7C captured by a NASA satellite in east Antarctica in 2013 .

Oymyakon has 50 permanent residents and its name means “non-freezing water” due to a nearby thermal spring.

The settlement originally developed as a stopover for reindeer herders who came to water their animals at the spring.

The village’s hardy inhabitants survive the winters, which drop to an average of -50C in January and February, largely by burning wood and coal for warmth.

The village sits 750 meters above sea level and the length of its days vary from three hours in December to 21 hours in summer.

In 2016, adventurer and photographer, Amos Chapple, spent five winter weeks working in the Yakutia region and described its living environment as “exhausting”.Oymyakon is served by just the one shop and its solitary school only shuts if temperatures dip below -52C.

He said: “I remember feeling like the cold was physically gripping my legs. The other surprise was that occasionally my saliva would freeze into needles that would prick my lips.

“Breath-mist was as think as cigar smoke and so I had to hold my breath when taking a picture.