You may have heard that Yakutsk is the coldest city in the world, and while Yakutsk can get down to -78°F, another Siberian city has a year-round average temperature of only 14°F! That would be Norilsk, where more than 175,000 people live. That’s not Norilsk’s only distinction.
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It’s also incredibly isolated. Of all the cities in the world with populations of 100,000 people or more, Norilsk is the farthest north. Despite its relatively large size, no roads lead to it. The city, located 1800 miles from Moscow, sits 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle and can only be reached by plane or boat. Surrounded by thousands of miles of untouched wilderness, Norilsk is so cut off from the rest of the world that residents often refer to the rest of Russia as “the mainland.”
The city, we should stress, is on the mainland.
Add snow and pollution, and you have to ask why would anyone want to live in Norilsk. The answer is in an article about the city at Mental Floss.
(Image credit: Shishaev Kirill)