This Insanely Cold Town Just Hit -80F and Its Thermometers Are Breaking
Complaining about how cold it is outside is as much a part of winter as hot toddies and skiing, but even the most brutal of polar vortexes and bomb cyclones you've experienced would probably seem balmy compared to the shockingly frigid temperature in Siberia right now. In fact, it just dipped to -62 Celsius (-79 Fahrenheit) in one northern Russian town -- so cold that even thermometers stopped working.
Considering it holds the distinction of being the coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth, below freezing temps are par for the course for the rural Siberian village of Oymyakon. However, after a particularly dramatic dip on January 14, the flashy digital thermometer it installed last year to draw interest from tourists stopped working once it hit the -62 Celsius mark. It's likely it got even colder there, considering some residents recorded temps as low as -67 Celsius (-88.6 Fahrenheit) at their properties, according to the Siberian Times.
Many locals appeared unfazed by the insanely frosty air, going about their days as usual. Even the outdoor fish market remained open, and busy. And while -62 Celsius is certainly cold even by Oymyakon standards, it's not the coldest temperature ever recorded there. It officially hit -67.7 Celsius (-89.9 Fahrenheit) in 1933, and a nearby locale reportedly measured a reading of -68 Celsius in 1885.
To the astonishment of locals, a group of daring (and dumb?) Chinese tourists decided to strip down and take a dip in a nearby ice-free spring.
As beautiful as some of the photos snapped outside may look, it's still incredibly dangerous to be exposed to such extreme elements for even a few minutes without appropriate gear. The Siberian Times also reports that a couple people who went out to check on their animals froze to death after the car they were driving in stalled and they weren't properly dressed.
If you're drawn to the wildly cold weather and feel like visiting Oymyako to snap your own ice-faced selfie, you still have time this year -- the average lows there hover around -50 Celsius for the next couple months.