- Russian village of Oymyakon has lowest recorded temperature for any permanently inhabited location
- Nothing grows so locals live off diet of reindeer meat and horse meat but never suffer malnourishment
- Locals keep their cars running all day for fear of them not starting again if turned off
- Digging graves for a funeral can take up to three days as ground has to be thawed with hot coals
As we whinge about the wintry weather here in Britain, spare a thought for those living in a Russian hamlet where temperatures can plummet to -71C, so cold even planes cannot land there in winter.
The valley of Oymyakon in northeast Russia is known as the 'Pole of Cold' and with an average January temperature of -50C, it is no wonder the village is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world.
This is the lowest recorded temperature for any permanently inhabited location on Earth and the lowest temperature recorded in the Northern Hemisphere.
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The 'Pole of Cold': The average temperature for January in the Russian village of Oymyakon is -50C, with -71.2C the lowest ever recorded temperature
Frost bite: Traffic lights are covered in snow and ice in the village which is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world
Icy load: Ruslan, 35, loads blocks of ice onto a truck outside Yakutsk in the valley where nothing grows so people eat reindeer and horsemeat
But the Soviet government, in its efforts to settle nomadic populations, believing them to be difficult to control and technologically and culturally backward, made the site a permanent settlement.
Alone in the ice: A lone man walks across a courtyard in the village, home to around 500 people, which was, in the 1920s and 1930s, a stopover for reindeer herders who would water their flocks from the thermal spring
Winter mooring: Ships moored on the banks of the river, where ironically, Oymyakon actually means 'non-freezing water' due to a nearby hot spring
Treacherous drive: A car drives through the snow at night near Vostochnaya meteorological station where locals are said to leave their cars running all day for fear of not being able to restart them
Even if there was coverage for mobile phone reception the phones themselves would not work in such cold conditions.
Another problem caused by the frozen temperatures is burying dead bodies, which can take anything up to three days. The earth must first be thawed sufficiently in order to dig it, so a bonfire is lit for a couple of hours. Hot coals are then pushed to the side and a hole a couple of inches deep is dug. The process is repeated for several days until the hole is deep enough to bury the coffin.
Ironically, Oymyakon actually means 'non-freezing water' due to a nearby hot spring.
Heavy cover: The houses in the village of Tomtor in the Oymyakon valley where most homes still burn coal and wood to heat and enjoy few modern conveniences
Winter washing: Igor Vinokurov, 25, knocks the snow and ice off washing frozen on the washing line in the Oymyakon valley where locals are acclimatised to the weather unlike any other country
Quick dip: A man takes a dip in the icy waters of the Lena River inside a tent to celebrate Orthodox Epiphany on January 18
Deadly dive: Alexander Gubin, 43, prepares to dive into the frozen Labynkyr Lake, some 62 miles south from the Omyakon valley
Ice maiden: Ice sculptures on the Lena river, created for the Orthodox Epiphany celebration in the valley where daily living problems include pen ink freezing, glasses freezing to people's faces and batteries losing power
Nothing grows there so people eat reindeer meat and horsemeat. A single shop provides the town's bare necessities and the locals work as reindeer-breeders, hunters and ice-fisherman.
Doctors say the reason the locals don't suffer from malnutrition is that their animals' milk contains a lot of micronutrients.
Unsurprisingly, locals are hardened to the weather and unlike in other countries - where a flurry of snow brings things grinding to a halt, Oymyakon's solitary school only shuts if temperatures fall below -52C.
Hard day's work: Lumberjacks Alexey Egorov, 45, and Semion Vinokurov, 53, cut down a tree in the forest outside the village of Tomtor in the valley
Sustenance: Lumberjacks Alexey Egorov, 45, and Semion VInokurov, 53, (left to right) lunch in the cabin of their truck in forest outside Tomtor. Doctors say locals don't suffer from malnutrition is that their animals' milk contains a lot of micronutrients
Friendly fire: A dog lies on wood shavings near a woodstack in the valley where coal deliveries are irregular forcing the power station to start burning wood
Snow-capped town: The village of Tomtor, the village that is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world
Nomadic no more: Smoke rises from houses as residents try to keep warm in the depths of winter where, in the 1920s and 1930s, it was a stopover for reindeer herders until the Soviet government made the site permanent in efforts to settle nomadic people
Wintry weather: Meteorologist Sergei Burtsev, 41, prepares to launch a weather balloon to record the temperatures where the length of a day varies from 3 hours in December to 21 hours in the summer
School's out: Nikolay Vinokurova, 7, and his sister Vera, 9, have lunch at their grandmother's house in the valley where the solitary school only shuts if temperatures fall below -52C
Winter woolies: Braving the subzero temperatures outside requires many layers and fur coats in the valley located around 750 metres above sea level
Winter wonderland: The weather gets so cold here that pen ink freezes, glasses freeze to people's faces and batteries lose power
A minibus drives along an ice road across the Lena River where there is sunlight for just three hours each day in winter
Men take refuge in the cabin of this truck in the village of Ytyk-Kyuyol where if the power ceases, the town shuts down in about five hours, and the pipes freeze and crack
A woman walks over an ice-encrusted bridge in Yakutsk Village of Oymyakon, which is considered to be the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world
The thick fur of these East Siberian Laikas puppies keeps them warm: Oymyakon is 750 metres above sea level, which means that the length of a day varies from 3 hours in December to 21 hours in the summer
The village, which is home to around 500 people, was originally a stop-over for reindeer herders who would water their flocks from the thermal spring
A Communist-era monument marking the record-breaking temperature of -71.2 recorded in the village in 1924. It reads 'Oymyakon, the Pole of Cold'
Farmer Nikolai Petrovich waters his cows at a patch of thermal water on the edge of Oymyakon. Despite its terrible winters, in June, July and August temperatures over 30c are not uncommon
Cows walk back to their sheds after watering in the Oymyakon thermal spring
Oymyakon village at dawn with a plume of smoke rising from the heating plant. Most people still burn coal and wood for heat. When coal deliveries are irregular the power station starts burning wood. If the power ceases, the town shuts down in about five hours, and the pipes freeze and crack
And despite its terrible winters, in June, July and August temperatures over 30c are not uncommon.
There are few modern conveniences in the village - with many buildings still having outdoor toilets. When coal deliveries are irregular the power station starts burning wood. If the power ceases, the town shuts down in about five hours, and the pipes freeze and crack.
VIDEO Check out just how cold it gets with guide Bolot... click here to learn more about Yakutsk
Alexander Platonov, 52, a retired teacher, dressed for a quick dash to the outdoor toilet at his home in Oymyakon. Travel companies offer tourists the opportunity to visit the village and sample life in the freezing conditions
A patch of the thermal spring on the outskirts of Oymyakon. The village is known as the 'Pole of Cold'. Daily problems that come with living in Oymyakon include pen ink freezing, glasses freezing to people's faces and batteries losing power. Locals are said to leave their cars running all day for fear of not being able to restart them
A view from the M56 Kolyma Highway into Oymyakon, otherwise known as The Road of Bones. The road has become a challenge for adventure motorcyclists
It is served by two airports and is home to a university, schools, theatres and museums.
Travel companies offer tourists the opportunity to visit the village and sample life in the freezing conditions.
A toilet on the tundra at a petrol stop on the road to Oymyakon (left) and a young student poses for a portrait at a bus station in Yakutsk.
A digger delivers fresh coal to the heating plant in Oymyakon
A petrol station on the way to Oymyakon. Cars are generally left running full time by locals who fear they won't restart if turned off
Oymyakon's only shop caters for the needs of the village's 500 people
A man leaves his van and walks into Oymyakon's only shop as paper waste is burnt in a 40 gallon drum
A view of Stalin's 'Road of Bones', the route to Oymyakon, on a -50c evening
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2280650/Oymyakon-coldest-village-earth-Weather-takes-turn-worse-71C-Russian-hamlet.html#ixzz2lzocVaam
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