For most of them descendants of Gulag camps prisoners sent to the region, the 1,200 inhabitants of Verkhoyansk go every winter through some of the coldest temperatures on the planet. In fact, it’s in this little town located 2,920 miles from Moscow that the Earth’s greatest temperature variation was recorded with -90°F in winter and 99,1°F in summer.
Traditional hunters, fishermen, horse and cattle breeders, the locals have also long lived of the mining ressources of the region, rich in coal, gold and zinc. This was before the collapse of the Soviet Union led to the mine’s closure: since then, the town’s population has decreased by 35% and many families decided to move out to Yakutsk, the capital of the region.
In a stubborn Slavic pride, 1,200 people remain here today, living year after year through one of the most challenging climates of the planet. At a time where the world worries about climate change, the life in Verkhoyansk gives us a glimpse at our capac- ity as humans to adapt to any environment, no matter how harsh, demanding and challenging it is.