Unless you live in Florida, there’s no winter wonderland without at least a tiny bit of snow. Even a couple of inches will do the job as long as it gives you time to take a snowy selfie. And there’s nothing more fun than having the first snowfall of the season, as we all suddenly transform into little kids putting our hectic adult lives on hold.
But on the other side of the world, in Russian Siberia, people ain’t “dreaming of a white Christmas” like Sinatra’s song. You see, in Norilsk, which is the northernmost city of Russia, people face continuous darkness for 45 days each year with temperatures dropping as low as -27.4°F in February.
And now, the city has been drowning in a constant five-day snowfall. The Krasnoyarsk hydrometeorological center reported that there has been a whopping 194% of the monthly precipitation falling in the past week. On top of that, the locals have to deal with icy wind gusts reaching 22-27 meters per second.
The pictures from the Siberian snowland speak for themselves, and as fun as they look, one cannot help but wonder how the locals deal with all this. From digging up their cars to having the road signs swept up by snow, this takes survival skills Bear Grylls would be proud of.
Norilsk is situated 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle and is known as a place of brutal extremes. It’s the coldest and one of the darkest places in Russia, since starting from the beginning of December, the locals face the perpetual night of polar winter. The night usually lasts from about November 30 to January 13. Beyond the city, which is populated with around 175,000 people, there’s the uninhabited wilderness of northern Siberia.
Te city is not only famous for its freezing climate, it’s also one of the biggest producers of pollutants, “turning an area twice the size of Rhode Island into a dead zone of lifeless tree trunks, mud, and snow,” according to The New York Times. Norilsk Nickel company is the world’s largest producer of palladium and a major supplier of metals like copper, nickel, etc.
The New York Times reports that “at one point, the company belched more sulfur dioxide a year than all of France.” As a result, Norilsk’s Daldykan river, which runs the plant, has turned red.Most locals spend their leisure time indoors, especially during the winter season.
The cold gets so severe here that freelance taxis have been a booming business, with locals too cold to walk outside for even short distances. Buses also exist, but waiting outside for one until it arrives may be impossible, so it’s not uncommon to hide in a nearby shop and wait for the bus to come.