Oymyakon, Yakutiya


    Oymyakon is known as one of the candidates for the Northern Pole of Cold, the other being the town of Verkhoyansk. The ground there is permanently frozen.  Living in Oymyakon comes with some very interesting challenges. Eye glasses are known to freeze to faces, and batteries lose power very quickly.  Even if there was any phone reception, the phone batteries would not survive the cold. Also, vehicles have to remain running if they are not parked in a heated garage.

    Originally used as a stopover for reindeer herders, it is now home to 500 people, with only 1 store to provide provisions to residents, and 1 gas station nearby.To heat their homes, residents use wood-burning stoves. Fishing provides a fresh source of food for residents of Oymyakon.  Their diets consist mainly of reindeer meat, horse meat, fish, and milk from their farm animals. The growing season in Oymyakon is so short; people don’t often eat many fruits or vegetables.  Even though fruits and vegetables are rarely eaten, malnourishment is not an issue here.

    Fur is one of the only ways to stay warm in Oymyakon and is used out of necessity, not fashion. Traditional reindeer boots are very popular in the region, but can cost upwards of 300 euros ($423.00 USD).

    Although Oymyakon is most known for its bone-chilling winters, the surrounding region is a popular tourist destination during the summer. Many companies offer multi-day treks through the region so tourists can experience the breathtaking beauty.