The haunting photographs captured by Amos Chapple in Oymyakon and Yakutsk, Russia are revealing how people are going through the winter in the coldest inhabited area on Earth.
Winter storms are affecting some parts of this world, making people overreact and say that global warming is not real. However, there are people who are actually affected by cold weather each year and they are not questioning global warming.
Either way, this is not the time, nor the place to get into heated debates, so here is how it is like to live in the coldest inhabited area on Earth, courtesy of photographer Amos Chapple.
Images from the Oymyakon village in Russia prove that there is little reason for you to complain about the weather, wherever you may be. Some photos of Chapple’s collection are also depicting the city of Yakutsk, which is the capital of the Sakha Republic, Russia.
Yakutsk is located about 450 miles south from the Arctic Circle as well as a two-day drive to Oymyakon, so it is not exactly the favorite winter resort of skiers.
Earth’s coldest inhabited area is the home of haunting winter photos
The lowest temperature ever recorded in Oymyakon is -71.2 degrees Celsius / -96.16 degrees Fahrenheit back in 1924. Although almost everything is frozen here, the inhabitants somehow manage to live in the Russian village.
A weird thing is that Oymyakon can be translated into “unfrozen water”. The name comes from a neighboring thermal spring, which allows reindeer herders to water their animals.
Anyway, one of the keys for survival is called “Russky chai”, which translates into Russian tea. The key here is that Russian tea is entirely transparent and it actually refers to vodka.
It is not cold enough to make your blood freeze, but these temperatures are low enough to make your glasses stick to your face.
Daring Russians prove that for every problem there is a solution
Locals are fully adapted to live in these places. However, they can still get frostbites if they linger too much outside. A big problem is that their toilets consist of long drops, meaning that sometimes they are forced to expose their private parts to extreme cold.
The reason why toilets are long drops is due to potential plumbing issues. At these temperatures the risk of damage is very high and it would be almost impossible to dig through the ground, so it is better to avoid such situations.
Planes cannot fly to Oymyakon or Yakutsk during the winter, so it is very hard to get help from outside. Moreover, crops are impossible to harvest, so meals consist mostly of meat-related foods, such as horse liver and different types of fish.
If you want to have a car, then you will need a garage. Additionally, the garage must be heated and the car must be started minutes before leaving to ensure that you make it to the destination.
Focusing the lens is as grueling as opening a jar, says Amos Chapple
Another major problem during the winter consists of the fog created by steaming factories and cars. Additionally, people need to put on a lot of clothes to make sure that the cold does not cause them excruciating pain.
Unfortunately, people are not immortal, therefore a lot of deaths occur in Oymyakon and Yakutsk. Not necessarily due to the cold weather, but accidents happen, while aging does not forgive anyone else. This means that people need to be buried and it is hard to do so with the ground frozen. This is why burial grounds are heated with bonfire before a burial ceremony takes place.
If you wonder how Amos Chapple managed to take photos in Oymyakon and Yakutsk, then you should know that it has not been easy. The photographer says that you have to be careful not to damage your gear, adding that focusing the lens could get as hard as opening the cap on a jar.
More photos can be seen on a dedicated article on the website of The Weather Channel.