Yakutsk, Siberia, has a population of 280,000 people, even though the temperature hovers around 40 below zero for several months of each year. The reason a city of such size even exists that close to the Arctic Circle is because of the minerals beneath it: a fifth of the world's diamonds come from mines near Yakutsk, and the area is rich in natural gas, oil, gold, and silver, too. Photographer Steeve Iuncker visited Yakutsk and witnessed the challenges that come with living in serious cold.
Case in point: Iuncker noticed that locals tended to visit one another a lot, but for only a few minutes: “They would come in, take off their first layer, drink hot tea, and have a toast with jam before bundling up again and stepping outside. It was as if their neighbors’ abodes served as relay points along their journey.” Like them, Iuncker had to adapt his working habits to the elements. His camera, a twin-lens Rolleiflex, afforded him only 15-minute shooting periods. After that the winding mechanism would freeze, and the film risked cracking. Which was just as well; by then his fingers were numb.
Read about Yakutsk and see two galleries of images at National Geographic. -via Mental Floss
(Image credit: Flickr user Maarten Takens)