Norilsk is an industrial city in Russia, located above the Arctic Circle, east of the Yenisei River and south of the western Taymyr Peninsula. It has a permanent population of 175,000. With temporary inhabitants included, its population reaches 220,000.
Norilsk іѕ lосаtеd between the Wеѕt Siberian Plаіn аnd Central Sіbеrіаn Plаtеаu at thе fооt of the 1,700-mеtеr (5,600 ft) high Putoran Mоuntаіnѕ, on some оf the lаrgеѕt nісkеl dероѕіtѕ оn Earth. Consequently, mіnіng and ѕmеltіng оrе are thе major industries. Nоrіlѕk is thе center of a rеgіоn where nісkеl, copper, соbаlt, рlаtіnum, раllаdіum and coal are mined. Mіnеrаl deposits іn thе Siberian Crаtоn hаd been knоwn fоr two centuries before Nоrіlѕk wаѕ fоundеd, but mіnіng began оnlу іn 1939, whеn thе burіеd роrtіоnѕ оf thе Norilsk-Talnakh іntruѕіоnѕ wеrе found bеnеаth mountainous terrain.
From the current viewpoint it seems very hard to live there, but when I was there it was a normal life. People there will accept even extraordinary conditions.
The fun side is snow, a lot of snow. The first powder appears in September, and July is the hottest month (summer).
For a child, it is a very cool place to play and build snow houses.
The Temperature of Norilsk
How can people live in such condition? The secret is simple: use very warm clothes.
Norilsk people just run from shop to shop in a short distance to save warmth.
Cold temperature isn't the main problem and will most likely not kill you; the problem is the cold wind. This is really annoying.
In some periods there appear very strong winds, so children playa game: Just take your buddy with you into the wind. You cannot fall because it is so strong and it is really fun for the children.
Things you would enjoy in Norilsk
Another cool thing is White Nights. They are one of the most impressive in the world. The sun does not go under the horizon in the summer and there is a small difference in light between daytime and night.
In the winter it is the opposite - everywhere is dark, with only 3 hours daytime sunlight.
Nevertheless, Norilsk will always remain among the coldest on the planet with the average annual temperature not rising above minus 10C. The winter lasts for nine to ten months a year and people who live here long enough can distinguish up to 13 shades of white.
Norilsk is also in the top five most windy cities in the world and combined with the temperatures dropping as low as minus 50C in winter, it explains why you might want to call a taxi to go just 50 meters to the grocery store and back, as people do.
What living in Norilsk means for their inhabitants
'It's not as cold as you might think', comments Natalia. 'I personally have just one warm sweater here. As the climate is not as humid as on the mainland. Honestly, I was freezing more in Moscow than in Norilsk. Yes, there are times when the temperature drops down under minus 50C and there's no other way to move around the city but by car, but it doesn't last long.'
Anna also prefers the Arctic climate too, in her case, St Petersburg's. 'My son who is 5 years old was always getting a cold in St Petersburg and his nose was running constantly so that I even had to give him antibiotics, though I'm very much against them.
'But here because of the low temperatures, and almost no humidity, he feels much better and almost never gets sick. The viruses do not live in such low temperatures.'