Unless You Live Here, You Can’t Complain About How Cold It Is Outside

Published January 17, 2018

The temperature in Yakutia was over 100 degrees colder than it was in New York.

Frozen Eyelashes

Associated PressIt’s so cold, people’s eyelashes are freezing on their faces.

Not that many people are planning leisurely trips to Russia at the moment, but if you happen to be, you may want to rethink it.

This past Tuesday, parts of northern Russia reached temperatures of negative 88.6 degrees Fahrenheit, nearly a new record.

In case that didn’t blow you away, just think about the fact that that’s 121.6 degrees colder than it is in New York City today.

While that kind of cold would effectively shut down New York City, for the region of Yakutia, it’s not that bad. Yakutia, a large region roughly 3,300 miles east of Moscow, routinely experiences temperatures of 40 below, during which kids even go to school.

However, schools were closed for the day when the negative temperatures nearly doubled the usual chill, and after investigators reported that two men froze to death. The men had apparently attempted to walk to a nearby farm after their car had broken down on a side road. Three other men were with the pair but survived due to their warmer clothing.

On the upside, the governor’s office in Yakutia assured the press that all of Yakutia’s nearly one million residents had central heating and access to backup generators, as well as all of the region’s businesses.

The village of Oymyakon, a village in Yakutia and one of the coldest inhabited places on earth, almost beat its own record for all-time low temperatures. In 2013, the village reported a low of negative 98 degrees Fahrenheit, just 10 degrees below last week’s lows.

Though these horrific low temps made headlines for us, they barely made Yakutia’s local news on Tuesday. News outlets instead ran stories of people performing stunts in the extreme cold, photos of women with frozen eyelashes, and a picture of a Chinese exchange student who had undressed to jump into a thermal spring, despite the extreme temperature.


Next, read more about Oymyakon, a regularly-below-freezing but still fully inhabited region in Russia. Then, check out some of the scariest things to come out of Russia.

Katie Serena
Katie Serena is a New York City-based writer and a writing fellow at All That Is Interesting.
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