Sick, Sad World
Yakutusk in east Russia, the coldest city on earth.
If you thought it was cold where you are at the moment then a visit to the Russian city of Yakutsk might just change your mind. In a typical January, the coldest month, the 'high' is usually -40F (-40C), and there are 3 hours of daylight per day.
A statue of Ivan Kraft, one of the first governors of Yakutia. The republic of Yakutia, of which Yakustk is the capital, has less than 1 million inhabitants, but an area of 1,190,555 square miles, making it slightly smaller than India. As a comparison, India has a population of 1.2 billion.
A woman stands in Yakutsk city centre, where freezing fog usually limits visibility to 30 feet (10m) in winter. Despite the area's terrible winters, in June, July and August temperatures over 85 F (30C) are not rare.
The world's coldest temperature outside of Antarctica occurred in the basin of the Yana River to the northeast of Yakutsk. The lowest temperature recorded in Yakutsk was −83.9F (−64.4C) and the highest was 101.1F (38.4C)
A local woman enters Preobrazhensky Cathedral in a swirl of freezing mist.
A woman walks over an ice-encrusted bridge over the Lena river in Yakutsk
In winter the only ways to get to Yakutsk fom Moscow are to fly or to go on 'the road of bones', pictured. The road was bult by Stalin's prisoners, many of whom died. It is mainly used by truckers bringing provisions to remote villages in the area. The truckers leave their engines running when visiting the area, for up to two weeks at a time, as vehicles will not start again once turned off. A railway is planned, but so far only goes to Tommot, 250 miles away.
A young student poses for a portrait at a bus station in Yakutsk. Fur is de rigueur in the Siberian city, the locals say that nothing else will keep you warm.
A pair of frozen shoes waiting for summer in a shed in the suburbs of Yakutsk
The area is rich in mineral wealth. Yakutsk is responsible for a fifth of the world's production of diamonds and 40% of Russia's gold is mined in the area. There are also reserves of gas and oil.
A snowbound red AZLK Moskvitch 412 saloon car parked on a raised platform in the village of Khomustakh outside Yakutsk
A car covered in ice near a playground in Yakutsk