How The Citizens Of The Coldest City On Earth Stay Warm

When it gets cold, like winter cold, it's always advisable to layer up. But some people scoff at warmth and go out dressed like it's summer forever. These people laugh in the face of winter. But they will not survive dressed like that in Oymyakon, Russia.

Oymyakon in Siberia is the coldest permanently inhabited place on the whole planet. Average temperatures in winter reach -50 C (-58 F), cold enough that, according to The Weather Channel, glasses can stick to your face if you're outside. The lowest-ever temperature recorded in the area came in 1924, when the thermometer dropped to -71.2 C or -96.16 F. Atlas Obscura explains that life gets turned upside down in Oymyakon in winter. Days can be as short as three hours. Cars, if left outside their heated garages, can freeze, never to run again. Eyelashes, eyeglasses, and even saliva turn into ice. If you go outside naked, it'll take a minute before you freeze to death.

Other than questioning why in the world would anyone want to live there, one of the biggest questions about Oymyakon is, how do they survive? After all, this is a place where school only gets canceled if it's -52 C. Three things are most important in Oymyakon: alcohol, meat, and fur.

A lot of meat and fur help them stay warm

According to The Weather Channel, vodka, or what Oymyakon's fondly call "Russian Tea," is one key to their survival. It should be noted, however, that a bottle of vodka left outside will also freeze. Drinking alcohol keeps people warm and also keeps them indoors. But The Washington Post reported alcoholism is believed to be a problem in the area. People in warmer winter weather went nuts over the Amazon coat a few years back, but that coat won't fully keep you warm in Oymyakon. People here have to wear a lot of furs to keep the cold away. Layering becomes even more critical.

Since the ground is mainly permafrost, they can't grow crops in Oymyakon. Their diet consists mostly of meat and arctic fish. The Washington Post explained regional specialties include a dish of raw, long-sliced frozen fish called stroganina, reindeer meat, ice cubes of horse blood with macaroni, and raw, frozen horse liver. They eat soup with a lot of meat. With winter being so brutal, it's no wonder they celebrate something called the Cold Pole Festival to mark the end of the cold, per Conde Nast Traveler. People compete in reindeer races, dog sledding, and ice fishing. Relief comes in summer for them, since summer temperatures reach 94 F.

So, if you're one of those people who wears shorts in the winter just because you can, dare you to Oymyakon. See how you like the cold now.