Oymyakon is the place with the lowest temperature ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. The British from Land Rover began a quest to prove the awesome capabilities of their Land Rover Defender off-road vehicle, facing temperatures down to -58 degrees Celsius (-72°F).
Land Rover has teamed up with the Royal Geographical Society to carry out a special expedition. They embarked on a modified Land Rover Defender to Oymyakon (Oymyakonsky District of the Sakha Republic, Russia), also known as the “Pole of Cold”, covering nearly 20,000 kilometers (12,500 miles), the route having as coordinates countries such as Norway and Finland, not missing the Arctic Circle and the famous Trans-Siberian Highway.
Royal Geographical Society + Land Rover Defender = Oymyakon “Pole of Cold” Expedition
The lowest temperature encountered by the British expedition was -58°C (-72°F), supported by the Land Rover Defender without any problems due to changes made on the air conditioning. The British trip still has 15,000 kilometers (9,500 miles), the returning route to the UK being planned trough Southern Siberia, Kazakhstan and the Scandinavian countries.
The air conditioning used on the special prepped Land Rover Defender has been modified to the low temperatures in Siberia. In addition, an independent stationary heating system was added, together with thermal protection for the engine, a new transmission and dampers.
The expedition was intended to investigate the cultural, social and psychological implications on living in the extreme temperatures encountered in the Northern Hemisphere winter. The team met with various communities, celebrating Christmas three times. All expedition members are winners of the sixth edition of the Land Rover scholarship awarded by the Royal Geographical Society of Great Britain.
The meteorological station in Oymyakon, one of the two points in the Northern Hemisphere considered “Poles of Cold”, is located in a valley between Oymyakon and Totor. This station recorded a temperature of -71.2°C (-96.2 °F) in 1924, as noted by the Russian researcher Sergey Obrychev. The same weather station recorded a temperature of -67.7°C (-89.9°F) in February 6, 1933.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the Vostok Antarctic meteorological station recorded the lowest reliably measured natural temperature ever found on Earth, of -89.2°C (-128.6°F) on July 21, 1983. The Vostok Station (Princess Elizabeth Land, Antarctica) is located at 3,488 meters (2.16 miles) above sea level. Temperatures at the South Pole are on average 5 to 10 degrees Celsius higher than Vostok, according to analyses conducted by the Russian researchers.