Russian village of Oymyakon has lowest recorded temperature for any permanently inhabited location. The village, which is home to around 500 people, was, in the 1920s and 1930s, a stopover for reindeer herders who would water their flocks from the thermal spring.
Ironically, Oymyakon actually means ‘non-freezing water’ due to a nearby hot spring. Most homes in Oymyakon still burn coal and wood for heat and enjoy few modern conveniences. Nothing grows there so people eat reindeer meat and horse meat. 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 micro nutrients. 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.