By Bethany Shepard 5:53 pm PST

Yakutia, often spelled Yakutiya, is the coldest location on earth. There, life is difficult, but inhabitants have invented several ways to make it more bearable.

Kirill Petrov and his wife reside with their nine-year-old child in a Yakutia village.  His two older daughters attend a university far from their hometown.

What does a regular day for this family look like?

At 7 a.m., Mr. Kirill collects a large pile of firewood, which he uses to heat his home with a wood-burning stove. During the frigid winter, he repeats this practice every morning to keep his loved ones warm. The weather there may get harsh. Thus, Kirill ensures he has sufficient firewood to reliably heat the home for nine months.

Drinking water is difficult to get. The wintertime freezing of the pipes prevents the installation of water treatment facilities. Their primary water supply is ice. They were required to collect water from the neighboring river in November, when temperatures were optimal.

While Kirill heats the home, his wife prepares a traditional breakfast dish consisting of whipped cream and summer-harvested strawberry beauties. It is hard to cultivate fruits and vegetables in Yakutia due to the severe environment. Therefore, they must depend on dairy products.

Their youngest child, Arian, awakens around 7:40 a.m. to get ready for school. Children in Yakutia can only attend school when the temperature is above -54 degrees Celsius. However, if the temperature falls below -55 degrees Celsius, school attendance becomes dangerous. On one of the more favorable days, Arian must attend class. He must use the ice-cold water provided by his father to wash his face and brush his teeth. Breakfast consists of rich pancakes with whipped cream. These high-energy meals help keep the body warm during chilly weather.

Over time, residents of Yakutia have mastered the knack of dressing appropriately for the weather. This is the only method to withstand adverse weather conditions. Before Arian departs for school, his mother assists him in donning warm clothing. Protecting the knees requires insulated pants. His face must also be covered in order to prevent frostbite.

Arian is not the only student who has made it to class despite the frigid weather. There are more students in the school. After the first two classes, the second breakfast is provided to the students. They must eat often in order to improve their energy levels.

Walking to school in Yakutia
Photo © Spiridon Sleptsov |

After breakfast, the children play inside since it is too chilly to play outdoors, and it takes too much time to dress for the cold. Typically, classes conclude around 2:00 p.m. Arian and his friend play together at home. Parents feel that their children are safe since around 800 individuals reside in this close-knit neighborhood.

Like the majority of males in the community, Arian’s father enjoys hunting, and raising cattle. Arian is also acquiring these skills, which have been handed down through generations. The little youngster is also familiar with chopping firewood and its significance in this chilly hamlet.

There are no indoor toilets in Yakutia because the pipes are susceptible to freezing. Therefore, Arian and his parents must use the outside toilet, but no one remains outdoors for an excessive amount of time.

They enjoy eating fish for lunch, Arian’s favorite. Then they will go out and do some “kullur” (traditional ice fishing). Hunting and fishing are essential in the area since they are the primary food sources. Arian likes spending time with his father and fishing.

Kirill’s family has learned to live in peace with Mother Nature and to enjoy the beauty of Yakutia’s landscape, despite the harsh, uncomfortable, and often dangerous climate.