11 Unusual Things About the World’s Frozen City

by Maure Nava
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The Frozen City yakutsk

“Coldest weather feels like fire. It’s burning,” the people in this frozen city say.

Yakutsk is a high-tech freezer with a temperature of -50’C. So if a piece of meat or fish is left outside, it will not get spoiled for months.

Yakutsk is one of the coldest cities in the world, the capital of the Republic of Sakha and located on the eastern side of Siberia. 

Yakutsk was an exile back in time, but now it is a city with nearly 3 million people. In the 13th century, Siberian people migrated and merged with other local indigenous groups. Now the majority have their origin in Siberia and Turkey.

Winter is the city’s highlight and lasts six to seven months, from October to May. 

Here’s a video of experiments that shows how crazy the temperature is in Yakutsk

Let me take you through 11 unusual things about Yakutsk during its freezing winter.

1. If you pour the hot water outside, it turns into ice crystals immediately. 

2. People cannot wear metal frame glasses in Yakutsk. With the cold, the skin sticks with the metal.

2. Gas pipes are constructed above the ground because the underground is frozen.

3. Electronic devices like phones or cameras do not work correctly in the freezing cold.

4. The houses in Yakutsk are built on pillars because the grounds are covered with ice. 

5. People mainly eat fish, which is simply displayed in public stalls for sale rather than in refrigerators. People buy a whole fish, put it outside and consume it for several days. 

Fish Market in Yakutsk

6. Cats cannot survive here. Only mammals with thick fur can survive. Some kinds of dogs come under this category. 

7. Horses here are shorter than ordinary ones, have fewer surfaces, and are much warmer.

Yakutsk Horses
The Short Horses of Yakutsk

8. The city is not connected to the rest of Russia by road and has no railway communication with the rest of the country. 

9. The vehicle engine is not switched off in winter. If the engine stops, the ice will cover the vehicle entirely, and the engine oil will freeze. Some people keep their cars in heated garages.

10. Every driver carries a toolbox. If the vehicle breaks down and cannot be fixed within 30 minutes, the vehicle will simply die. 

Mammoth Museum
Inside the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk

Then why do the people live here?

And why don’t the people move and settle in a warmer place?

The answer is that the temperature may be a torment to foreigners but not for the people of Yakutsk because it’s their home. So the people do not want to leave their culture behind and easily move on. They want to preserve it just like any sincere citizen.

Equally to the winter, the summer is pretty hot. Therefore, the festivals Yakut summer solstice festivities take place in summer.

Yakutsk may not be a glorious place to visit, but if you are up to adventure Yakutsk awaits. In fact, the world’s only mammoth museum is found here.

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If you ever choose to visit Yakutsk, pack and prepare well. Because you are going to experience the frozen city in the world!

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