Last night, it was -33* C. where I live — which is pretty much obscene. If you’re walking anywhere, it better take less than 10 minutes, because that’s how long it takes exposed flesh to freeze. Hahaha. I kid you not. Lol.
I sometimes wonder why the bleep I live here, but there’s no California in Canada so, no getting away from winter.Just degrees of cold to choose from.
It made me wonder what the coldest place in the world is. Not here, I know.
Yakutsk, Russia, apparently.
280 miles south of the Arctic Circle, and it’s so insanely cold, I had to share!
Don’t breathe the air!
A woman covers her mouth because it was -63C in Yakutsk’s central square. It gets colder! The coldest day on record was -90F, on Feb. 6, 1933.
(Covering your mouth with a mitten creates a pocket of warm air to breathe!)
Houses are covered in ice…
Warm air from inside the houses meets the cold air outside and freezes into puffs of ice that form, fall and reform all through the winter. Like Royal Icing!
Need to go? Sorry, bathrooms are outside!
The frozen ground makes underground pipes impossible. So — outhouses. Yes, out there! When they fill up with frozen you-know-what, they have to make a bonfire to warm the ground enough to dig a new hole. Hahaha.
Laundry? Also outside!
Clothes are washed indoors. Obviously. And then hung to dry. Outside. Apparently, the water freezes almost instantly. Knock the ice off and voila, dry clothes. Blows my mind. I’m kind of tempted. Just out of curiosity.
You get to choose — wait for the bus? Or take the car? If you’re taking the car, don’t turn it off. The engine will freeze. Cars are stored in heated garages or left running all winter if they’re stored outside.
This is what driving looks like…
There’s a constant fog in the air, from vehicles, heaters and people breathing. It just hovers there, all winter.
Need some groceries?
You could shop the outdoor market! Lots of fresh fish, reindeer meat and even arctic hare for rabbit stew. Except, no vegetables because the ground is frozen too much of the year to grow any. They have a mostly carnivorous diet.
Yes, there’s a store. One.
You almost never see people, but you’ll see them running into and out of the one store. And they sell macaroni, which is a nice change from meat, meat, and more meat. The walls are filled with artwork made by the school children.
There’s animals, too!
Animals are able to survive outside through bone-cracking cold. Yakutian horses roam semi-wild and dig through the snow to nibble the grass below. A special breed of dog, the Laika, has been bred to tolerate the brutal cold.
So cold that spit freezes
Photographer Amos Chapple, who took most of the images, said he had to hold his breath when shooting because breath swirls around like cigar smoke and ruined the images. Spittle froze at the sides of his mouth and the cold felt like it was squeezing his legs.
The place just looks desolate…it’s not!
There are almost 300,000 people in Yakutsk. They’re just no where to be seen and run from building to building (or vehicle) because of how cold it is!
By comparison, it’s positively balmy where I am.
A mere -27*C today and the forecast is calling for -11*C tomorrow. That’s 12F for all you south of the border. I might even go for a walk!
You know what else? We have indoor bathrooms!! So I’m good!