According to the official weather data, the rural locality Tomtor in Oymyakonsky district should become the only winner in the nomination of «the coldest inhabited place on the planet». Long discussion between Tomtor, Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk for the title «The Pole of Cold» was solved in February of the 2013: the record-breaking low temperature was fixed in Tomtor –71.2 °Ñ. It’s amusingly that in Tomtor there is an obelisk «The Pole of Cold» with these figures. This focus is easy to explain: in 1926 the geologist Sergei Obruchev fixed here the same temperature, but officially this record was not registered.
Oymyakon is also called «The Pole of Cold». This fenomenon has its explanation too. «The Pole of Cold» is not only the name of rural locality in 35 km from Tomtor, but it’s also the name of the whole area, in particular, the Oymyakon cavity in upper reaches of Indigirka, a huge globe with ice bottom, surrounded by mounds from all sides. This hollow is where the «competitive» village Tomtor and Oymyakon are located. It’s difficult to say where the temperature is lower (in Oymyakon or Tomtor) because human organism can’t adopt to it, and regular meteorological observations are made in one place: at the airport «Oymyakon», and this fact just aggravates the confusion with the names, because it is situated in 40 km from the village Oymyakon, but only in 2 km from Tomtor.
Nowadays Tomtor and Oymyakon are available for visiting only for well-to-do extreme lovers. The cost of the tour from Yakutsk can reach 120 thousand roubles. There are tours during the most severe period, from December till February, and gropus are formed from no more than 5 people. The festival «The Pole of Cold», that is meant for mass tourists, takes place in March, during the days of vernal equinox. As the yakuts consider this time to be the most suitable: the frost is weakening and reaches endurable -30 °Ñ.
Author: Anna Dorozhkina