Folks in Oymyakon take exception whenever Verkhoyansk lays claim to being the coldest location in the Northern Hemisphere, pointing out that they recorded a low of minus 90 degrees F on Feb. 6, 1933. Depending on whom you ask, 500 to 800 people call Oymyakon home, a three-day drive from Yakutsk. Schools stay open through minus 52 degrees.
The village is named after a local hot spring, which some residents tap during the winter by breaking through the thick crust of ice rimming the warm water. Oymyakon's tourism board has promoted the town as a perfect destination for adventure travelers hungry for a taste of the extreme.