Through the icy blanket of fog, one can catch a glimpse of a domineering statue of Lenin in the city’s central square. During the winter, the average temperature here is around minus -40°C. It is a vast, freezing world with almost 300,000 inhabitants.
This is Yakutsk, Russia, widely known as the coldest city on Earth.
Located in Eastern Siberia, Yakutsk is the capital of the Sakha Republic, located 450 km south of the Arctic Circle. The city’s lowest temperature ever recorded was -64.4 °C (−83.9 °F)! An expansive, remote area, it has much to offer in terms of natural wonders. The area boasts many majestic bodies of water, such as the Lena River, which is home to the Lena Pillars, an enchanting natural rock formation with pillars as high as 300 meters.
Buried underneath the city’s icy ground are numerous diamond mines and other precious minerals, which has made it a hot location for adventurers since the 1800’s. According to Time Lightbox, Yakutsk provides one-fifth of the world’s diamond production.
Although an important city, transportation connections are limited, and often depend on the area’s extreme climate conditions. The city has one airport, which connects it to other parts of Russia. It has no trains, and is connected to a highway (The Lena Highway) that is only accessible by crossing the Lena River by ferry. It is a feasible journey during the summer, but in the frigid winter, the only option is to cross the frozen river, which is impossible when the ice is too thin.
An extremely isolated, but equally fascinating city, Yakutsk is home to some undoubtedly resistant individuals who strive to live and survive in this icy, remote winter wonderland.
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