If you thought it was cold here in the United States, think again. Parts of Russia are so bitterly cold that thermometers are breaking and eyelashes are freezing. Several photos of eyelashes caked in white ice and snow are making the rounds on the internet, and while they might look photoshopped, they’re the real deal.
Russia’s remote Yakutia region is one of the coldest places in the world, and this Tuesday, temperatures plunged to -88.6ºF (-67ºC) in some areas. However, the region is no stranger to freezing weather — The Associated Press reports that residents regularly experience -40ºC days — but this low temperature prompted schools to close and police officers to order parents to keep their children indoors.
It was so cold, in fact, that thermometers couldn’t even keep up with the dropping temps. In the village of Oymyakon, which is one of the coldest inhabited places on earth, Russian televisions showed an image of mercury falling to the bottom of a thermometer that was designed to measure down to only -50ºC.
Meanwhile, on social media, residents posted selfies of themselves outside in the bitter weather, frozen eyelashes included.
One in particular, taken by Anastasia Gruzdeva, got a ton of attention thanks to the white snow caked onto her eyelashes.
Unfortunately, the extremely cold weather is responsible for the death of two men. They froze to death while walking to a nearby farm after their car broke down on the road. Three other men were with them, and they only survived because they were wearing warmer clothes.
As scary as these unthinkable temps seem to be, this isn’t even a record low for the region. In 2013, Oymyakon went down to -98ºF (-71ºC). Many of the residents didn’t let the weather stop them from their normal routines. The Siberian Times reported that some residents were still seen biking around and that outdoor markets even remained open. Resident Vladimir Danilov said, “While filming the trading rows my hands froze to wild pain. And sellers stand here all day long. How do they warm themselves?”
Even more surprising? A group of Chinese tourists made headlines after taking a swim outside in their underwear, in a spring called Yeyemu, which never freezes.
Ouch! Even watching this is painful. Let’s hope everyone stays safe out there!