Yakutsk City, Siberia, Far East

The Cold Pole of Earth.. Russia, Yakutsk.

The Daily Digest

The Daily Digest

This is the coldest city on Earth: Yakutsk, Siberia

Story by Zeleb.es  •  9h

Life isn’t easy in Siberia©Provided by The Daily Digest

December can be a challenging month. Yes, there are plenty of holiday celebrations, but the short days and continuously colder temperatures can get people down. However, there is one city in the world where they experience winter at its worst.

Life isn't easy in Siberia

At least you don’t have to live through a winter like this!©Provided by The Daily Digest

Yakutsk in Siberia enjoys relatively warm temperatures in the summer but during the winter it is the coldest place on the planet. So crank your air conditioning and cool down reading about the most frigid city that exists!

Welcome to Yakutsk©Provided by The Daily Digest

The coldest city in the world can be found (unsurprisingly) in Siberia. The Russian city of Yakutsk is not only the most frigid city in the world but also the least populated city also…. a coincidence? Probably not!

In a cold snap©Provided by The Daily Digest

According to CNN, the inhabitants of Yakutsk dealt with temperatures in the -50ºC range (-58ºF) this past winter as the region experiences a more frigid and longer-lasting than average cold snap.

-50ºC? No big deal©Provided by The Daily Digest

However, locals are well accustomed to this freezing weather and have previously experienced subzero temperatures well below -50ºC/-58ºF.

Now -60ºC, that’s a cold day©Provided by The Daily Digest

According to a BBC article from 2010, Yakutsk residents have experienced -60ºC/-76ºF, and some locals claim that temperatures have dropped even further.

Locals claim it gets so cold the thermometers can’t register the temperature©Provided by The Daily Digest

However, they have no proof given that “the thermometer only reads down as far as -63 ºC [minus 81.4 ºF],” according to locals who spoke with the BBC.

A growing population©Provided by The Daily Digest

Even though Yakutsk is a city you might still think hardly anyone lives there, but that is not the case! According to the 2021 Russian census, 355,443 people call Yakutsk home.

Photo by By Степанов Слава – geliovostok.ru, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia commons

A freezing capital©Provided by The Daily Digest

It is the capital city of the Sakha Republic, and the devilishly cold temperatures the city experiences aren’t surprising when you consider it is located just 450 km (280 mi) south of the Arctic Circle.

Why is Yakutsk so cold?©Provided by The Daily Digest

In addition, an article on Yakutsk published by Live Science points out that the topography of the area is a substantial contributing factor to the freezing temperatures that the city endures.

Photo by: James St. John – Lena River (near Yakutsk, Siberia, Russia) 5, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

“Cold air lakes” make the weather more extreme©Provided by The Daily Digest

Jouni Räisänen, a senior lecturer at the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) at the University of Helsinki in Finland, told Live Science, “These places are in local valleys, surrounded by higher terrain. The consequence is that so-called ‘cold air lakes’ easily form under calm winter conditions.”

A rapidly growing city©Provided by The Daily Digest

Oddly despite being the least densely populated city in the world, according to Wikipedia, Yakutsk is now “one of Russia’s most rapidly growing regional cities.”

Why live in the coldest city on Earth?©Provided by The Daily Digest

This makes one wonder why people continue to live in such a harsh environment, or in the case of Yakutsk, why are more people moving there?

40% are native Yakuts©Provided by The Daily Digest

According to an article by The Independent, in 2008, native Yakuts made up 40% of the population.

Proud of their heritage and homeland©Provided by The Daily Digest

In the case of the native Yakuts, living in such harsh conditions is all they have ever known, and they are proud of the natural beauty of their home. But what draws the newcomers to the region?

Home to mega corporation Alrosa©Provided by The Daily Digest

The answer seems simple enough: job opportunities. The area is full of gold, diamonds, and coal and is home to Alrosa. Many residents work in the mines in the area. Pictured: an open cast gold mine east of Yakutsk.

Producing 20% of the world’s diamonds©Provided by The Daily Digest

According to The Independent, Alrosa owns Russia’s diamond monopoly, producing 20% of the world’s rough diamond supply.

Photo by: Ptukhina Natasha – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Moving six time zones away from Moscow for work©Provided by The Daily Digest

It seems that Russians are willing to move six times zones away from Moscow and endure some of the harshest winters on the planet for the opportunity to land a well-paying gig.

Yakutsk is the coldest city but not the coldest place on Earth©Provided by The Daily Digest

Shockingly, even though Yakutsk is known as the coldest city on the planet, it is not the coldest place on Earth.

Oymyakon is the coldest place on Earth©Provided by The Daily Digest

According to National Geographic, that honor is held by a tiny rural village located 575 miles east of Yakutsk called Oymyakon.

-71.2ºC?!©Provided by The Daily Digest

In a 2012 documentary by the Australian television program ’60 Minutes,’ residents showed off a monument in the town square, which marks the coldest (unofficial) temperature the village ever experienced: -71.2ºC/-96.2ºF in January of 1924.

-20ºC doesn’t seem so bad now does it?©Provided by The Daily Digest

So, when summer is over and you are dreading the return of winter, remember, it could always be soooo much worse, you could be in the coldest city or the coldest place on Earth in Siberia!

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