Visiting the coldest town in the world - Chilling Out | 60 Minutes Australia

I've just returned from a place so

piercingly cold it gives me the shivers

just thinking about it it's not

Antarctica or even the top of Mount


no it's actually a tiny village in

Central Siberia in I'm Yukon it's so

cold your eyelashes freeze together and

you're constantly on guard against

frostbite if it's warmer than minus 55

degrees Celsius and it's a good day so

rug up as we venture to the coldest town

in the world

the icy journey to Aamir Khan is a long

treacherous drive across Siberia with

the temperature plummeting by the hour




it takes two days and nights on roads as

slippery as glass

inevitably one of our backup vehicles

came to grief along the way

there's something terribly haunting

about this road to anicon it was built

in the times of that dreadful tyrant

Joseph Stalin to link a series of gulags

or prison camps the political prisoners

were used as unpaid labor indeed they

were used to death collapsing from

exposure at the horrific rate of one

every meter now think about that that's

one dead two dead three dead and so the

death and misery continued for 1,200

kilometers more than a million people

died constructing this little wonder

they call it the road of bones each time

a person died they just left them on the

road and incorporated their bones into

the aggregate what does bulldoze them

into the surface stay quite literally

the road of bones I'm with a man highly

qualified in extreme environments Nick

Middleton a travel writer and geographer

from Oxford University most of the the

slave labour wouldn't have been kitted

out like we are and they must literally

work them to death

so in reality the last two days we've

been driving across a million people

it's a thought isn't it and it's true


to get to the coldest town on earth we

cross two frozen rivers climb a mountain

range and traverse endless forests to a

remote speck on the map smack bang in

the middle of Siberia


finally our destination om UConn

population 547 we are last prepare

yourself with a deep freeze

first stop is the town square a small

monument to honor the man who recorded

the record load this is the temperature

- 71 point - that's the coldest ever

recorded in an inhabited town I take it

this is the fellow who this is the guy

who took the readings his name's Albert

F he was a geographer explorer writer

and he recorded the temperature in the

1920s and he was freezing yeah he was

it's hard to describe the intensity of

the cold except to say that your freezer

at home runs at minus 18 degrees and

when we drove into town it was minus 45

although the town's mayor thought

today's weather was quite mild you sure

you don't put the vanilla it's more now

this is warm


the locals say it's truly cold when it

dips below minus 50 when blood stops

flowing to exposed skin and frostbite

sets in the worst thing here is that you

can underestimate the cold and you're

not realizing when your parts of your

body are frozen and you know what you're

at the end of your name is going does it

yeah okay the waxy color okay that's not

good no just get back in the car we

hurried to our accommodation there are

no hotels and a local family agreed to

put us up

the night of your coots have distinctive

Asiatic features and live much as

they've done for centuries next to the

woodpile is an I spire Feist blocks are

melted inside for fresh water tomorrow

you've lived here all your life it must

be very hard existence no yesterday yeah

but you don't need to run mystic I just

no no yes there are difficulties in

anyone's life but it's good here if I

had a choice to live anywhere in the

world it would be here tomorrow in your

lifetime what's the coldest day you've

experienced she searched dee dee

when I was a little girl it was a minus

68 one day it's never been as cold since

then one of the many day-to-day

hardships of living in a place like this

aside from the temperature and this

morning it's minus 50 for beauty is the

complete lack of running water these

places have no pipes I mean apart from

the money it'd be no good putting them

in anyway because the water would freeze

instantly that means there's no showers

and no bars which is not so bad in these

conditions but that means there's also

no flushing toilet which leads me to

this now the old fashioned Thunder box

is fine if you're in outback Australia

but let me tell you when you're in the

coldest part of the world and nature

calls in the middle of the night you

have to come and get your kid off well

that's something else

waimea gone is only 700 meters above sea

level and is well below the Arctic

Circle but the reason it's so cold is a

unique function of geography there's no

ocean nearby to moderate the extreme

conditions and it's deep in a frigid

valley and sitting in the bottom of this

valley all the colder tends to

accumulate and that combination of

factors adds up to the coldest inhabited

town on earth

but people who live here I think there

are certain common factors I haven't

seen any tall people here and that makes

physiological sense because it minimizes

the amount of surface area they have to

lose heat from it's the same as the

acrid horses their short squat creatures

yaqoob horses have adapted so well they

stay outdoors 24/7 they're one weak spot

is that the ice accumulates on their

backs not surprised

so they have to di see us the ice

cohorts every month or so in winter

farmers round them up for a procedure

you'd see nowhere but here so they've

got these really thick combs

to scrape the ice off so go what do they

use these horses for mainly for meat for


horse meat morning noon and night will

get pretty bored of it by the end


Liam ogle a -50 this trick effect is

supposed to work another day in a deep

freeze and it was cold enough for Nick

to try some experiments he'd read about

studying geography

this is boiling water after taking it

just off the stove you can see the steam

yeah right

you watch I'm gonna throw the yet that

water up into the air right ready yep it

just immediately freezes in the outer

and turns the snow plus put a residual

steam it's extraordinary isn't it



washing presents some interesting

effects in this part of the world live

and now stand up swing it around your

head swing it around my swing it around

your head please bit longer this is how

you drive here it all we're effectively

doing is speeding up the process of

hanging it on the line

okay stop now see look you're doing that

for about 10 seconds another that is

amazing look I know tried this but

you're supposed to be able to split it

down the middle quite easily your

favorite t-shirt but nothing Illustrated

the deep freeze better the Knicks final

party trick I left a couple of bananas

at last night have you ever seen a nail

hammered in with a banana turn honestly

say no possibly not okay totally

ridiculous and yet we're at totally

effective you often Nick

the thing that struck me most about this

place was that no matter how frigid the

weather the town spoke just grin and

bear it on the coldest day of our

journey the local reindeer herder

offered to take us to see his best mate

a fisherman named Igor hey listen

without any reindeer that we know or

meuk on because the whole town grew up

on a place where reindeer here this used

to spend the night next to the river

it's highly unusual way to go fishing


the reindeer dropped us at the local

river where Igor was already making

holes in the ice at minus 50 for the

frostbite hazard on exposed skin is

serious and the fishermen noticed my

nose had turned white again the method

is ingenious where does the net run to

goes to that pole over there yeah two

holes about five metres apart with a net

slung under the ice between them Igor

really goes home without a bucket full

of fish nature provides in abundance

here oh and another one Dutch gettin

lost the local legend has it that when

God was creating the earth he got so

cold that his hands went numb and he

dropped a lot in or nakhon frozen solid

already not this

today being 54 below school kids missed

out on a day off by just one degree if

it's minus 55 the school says it's too

dangerous to leave home the children

fear welders from Anya Conn with a dance

and warned us not to come back when the

weather warms up it gets 2 + 35 in the

summer months and apparently it's

unbearable in summer it gets very hot he

gets very swampy when everything melts

the air is full of mosquitoes and black

fly and it's an extremely unpleasant

place I wouldn't like to live here I

don't think I could live here actually

both for those climatic conditions and

also the remoteness and that combination

that package then they I could do it

it's hard yards isn't it very hard very

hard life hello i'm tara brown thanks

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