Interestingly, OYMYAKON, a village in Russia, is known as ‘THE COLDEST VILLAGE ON EARTH.’ Those who have visited the place say, in a lighter vein, that ‘one should wear a sweater even while looking at the pictures of the village, thanks to the dreaded cold weather there.’ The average temperature at OYMYKON, in January, hold your breath, is — 50degrees, and the lowest temperature — 67.7 degrees —– recorded in 1933. It is a rural locality (a SELO) situated along the Indigirka River, 30kilometers northwest of Tomtor on the Kolyma Highway.
It is named after the OYMYAKON River, whose name, reportedly, comes from the EVEN word KHEIUM meaning ‘unfrozen patch of water’ ;’ place where fish spend the winter.’ However, another source states that the EVEN word KHEIUM means ‘frozen lake.’ The population (500) is in the eastern YAKUTIA at approximately 750 metres above sea level. At the village’s northern position, day length varies from 3 hours, in December to 21hours in June.
With an extreme sub-arctic climate, 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 (continuous PERMAFROST). The weather station is a valley between OYMYAKON & TOMTOR. The station is at 750 metres and the surrounding mountains at 1,100 metres, causing cool air to pool in the valley. In fact, recent studies show that the winter temperatures, in the area, increase with altitude by as much as 10 degrees centigrade.
Although winters in OYMYAKON are long and excessively cold, summers are mild, sometimes with hot and very hot days. The climate is quite dry, but as average monthly temperatures are below freezing for 7 months of the year, substantial evaporation occurs only in summer months. Summers are much wetter than winters.
Apparently, people there use outhouses as shelter, as the ground is too frozen for them to install any sewage system. The markets there are mostly full of meat and fish, as its impossible to grow crops. Until and unless a person isn’t inside a heated garage, he can’t afford to turn off the car’s engine, as the intense cold can play a spoilsport in starting it again. However, a coal-heating plant keeps the place warm. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!