Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

It’s so cold in Russia that thermometers are breaking

Published Jan 16th, 2018 3:44PM EST
Russia Oymyakon temperature
Image: Anastasia Gruzdeva

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

The East Coast of the US has been inundated with cold weather for the last few weeks. With temperatures dropping to as low as 14 degrees in places like normally sunny Atlanta, local governments have been warning people to stay inside and travel only if necessary.

So you can imagine what kind of precautions the residents of Oymyakon, a village in the Russian region of Yakutia and the coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth, are having to take right now. Temperatures recently hit -62° C (-80° Fahrenheit), sufficiently cold that the town’s digital thermometer broke down. The conventional mercury thermometer, installed decades ago, only goes as cold as -50°.

Some local residents saw temperatures as low as -67° C, approaching the village’s all-time record of -67.7°, set in 1933. That was the coldest temperature ever recorded at a permanently inhabited place, and also the coldest temperature on record in the Northern Hemisphere. The coldest all-time temperature was below -90, recorded in the Antarctic by NASA using satellite data.

Locals have mostly been sheltering in place during the record-breaking low temperatures, as school has been cancelled, and residents have mostly been venturing outside just long enough to take the requisite selfie of freezing eyelashes. But one group of Chinese tourists appears to have braved the temperatures to bathe in a geothermal spring, as seen in the video below.

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.