Thursday, February 21st 2013, 7:06 AM EST
As we whinge about the wintry weather here in Britain, spare a thought for those living in a Russian hamlet where temperatures can plummet to -71C, so cold even planes cannot land there in winter. The valley of Oymyakon in northeast Russia is known as the 'Pole of Cold' and with an average January temperature of -50C, it is no wonder the village is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world.
This is the lowest recorded temperature for any permanently inhabited location on Earth and the lowest temperature recorded in the Northern Hemisphere.
Most homes in Oymyakon still burn coal and wood for heat and enjoy few modern conveniences. Nothing grows there so people eat reindeer meat and horsemeat. A single shop provides the town's bare necessities and the locals work as reindeer-breeders, hunters and ice-fisherman.
Doctors say the reason the locals don't suffer from malnutrition is that their animals' milk contains a lot of micronutrients.
Unsurprisingly, locals are hardened to the weather and unlike in other countries - where a flurry of snow brings things grinding to a halt, Oymyakon's solitary school only shuts if temperatures fall below -52C.
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