If You Think Rockford is Cold, Try Visiting Oymyakon
Sure, it's cold in the Rockford area. Really, really cold. School closing, car stalling, teeth-chattering, bone-aching cold. However, there's a village in Siberia whose residents would look at Rockford like we look at Maui.
That village is called Oymyakon. Located just a few hundred miles from the Arctic Circle, Oymyakon is the world’s coldest permanently settled area, nestled deep in the Russian tundra.
I've really tried, but after learning more Oymyakon, I can't think of anything about living there that wouldn't suck. Besides having 21 hours of darkness during the winter months, Oymyakon has an average winter temperature of -72.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Oh, and did I mention that almost everyone there uses an outhouse? Indoor plumbing freezes, so outside they go--literally.
Take a look at some video from a dude who'd always wanted to visit Oymyakon:
I mentioned that they average -72.4 degrees during the winter, but that's just the average.
That's balmy compared to one February in 1933, when Oymyakon earned its title as the coldest place on Earth when the mercury plunged to -90. Cars are kept in heated garages or, if left outside, left running all the time. Crops don't grow in the frozen ground, so people have a largely carnivorous diet—reindeer meat, raw flesh shaved from frozen fish, and ice cubes of horse blood with macaroni are a few local delicacies.
Wait, what? Horse blood ice-cubes with macaroni? Mmmmmm. You may find this surprising, but there are no hotels in Oymyakon. Several families are said to be willing to host guests for the night. Oymyakon loves visitors; the mayor will give any guest a certificate celebrating a visit to the “Pole of the Cold.”
Feeling better about our current situation here in Rockford? If so, meet me at Magic Waters later this afternoon.
I'll be the guy running the "horse blood ice-cubes with macaroni" food stand.