62 Once Upon a Time in Siberia

Once Upon a Time in Siberia

Posted on January 18, 2010 by team

There are company of Russian photographers that travel around Russia and world taking pictures of everything they see. Recently they decided to split up; one of them went to Africa to make a picture story and the other one went to one of the mining towns in Siberia. Just compare it, +40C (+95F) in Africa and -40C (-40F) in Siberia.

It is kinda funny to be there at nights. If you open a window, you will hardly close it after 5 minutes.

trip_to_siberia 2

One of cozy streets. The temperature outdoors is -42C (-44F).

Each fast breath hurts unaccustomed to such fierce frost lungs and everything inside your nose freezes up. The main thing is to breathe smoothly and to walk slowly.


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62 Responses to “Once Upon a Time in Siberia”

  1. N says:


    Awesome pictures… I really can’t imagine how it must feel to be that cold! Brr!

  2. TROLL says:


  3. daniel thorkell says:

    so where are the pictures from africa the + 40 environment pictures. I have to say this pictures remind me of my hometown in north Iceland, Hrísey. this is pure truth. if you want to go mad, go to a place where your skin will melt and your brain will not work properly in +40 degree. bon voyage kammerat.

    • Slava says:

      G’day mate,
      We have quite a few days here in Western Sydney when we have over +40, but after living for 30 years in “minus”-country – Sydney is a paradise ;-)

      • Mikey says:

        +40oC? That’s nothing! I’ve worked for a month on an oil drilling rig around Innaminka (near the border between QLD and NSW in Central Australia).

        It gets up to 50oC in the shade for a week or so in the height of summer each year.

        Now that hurts!

  4. hmmm says:

    why are there no people in the pictures?

  5. Ones says:

    Why do people lived in that such crazy frozen place?? what is the reason??

    • Alex Z says:

      most of all territory of Russia cold like that.
      we should to live here, because we haven’t another warm country :)

    • Bremm says:

      They’re there because of diamonds and gold (black and yellow ones).

      Now, let’s put some Greenpeace and PETA activists in such place with no leather clothes and with no coal-heating…

    • Mari says:

      If you live in the upper Midwest of the United States, you can get the same weather. I never had a birthday above -20 until I moved to NY. Now I have to deal with the feet of snow, not the horrible temperatures.

      But you make do. Bed, TV, hot drinks, and so on

  6. Taupey says:

    Damn, that’s Hardcore Winter!

  7. Zlobniy Shurik says:

    This is SOUTH of Western Siberia ;)

  8. JB says:

    I understood the external pipelines across Russia/Ukraine to be for cheap delivery of natural gas. Can anyone confirm this? It seems it would take more than insulation wrap to keep water pipes from freezing in those tempratures.

    • Radu says:

      Not only for natural gas; cities in Russia, Ukraine, and most East European countries have a central distribution of hot water and heating agent (usually hot water too, though some use steam). The pipes are in underground tunnels, but in some situations they can’t be buried and you get pictures 21 and 22.

  9. it must be soo cold down there

  10. Siberian says:

    This town is situated not far from my hometown.

  11. Mark Rose says:

    Ahh, -42! Real cold! :D

    Anyone who calls -20 cold is a sissy.

  12. Paul says:

    What kind of “human” would leave a poor dog outside in subzero temperatures? This is nothing less than cruel!

  13. From Finland with love says:

    10/10 I love it!

  14. K says:

    Beautiful, people struggling every day against the cold. But it begs to question: what’s so great about that place anyway, it’s effing cold!

    “It’s not an adventure until something goes wrong” – Yvon Chouinard, and there’s so much that can go wrong there.

  15. Ivana Benderova says:

    Beautiful fotos? What is beautiful about a coal smoked environmental disaster? Haiti looks much more unspoiled to me.

    • JR says:

      The beauty is in the industrial design of the coal processing plants and in the way the Russians built things. I live in the US, and going through towns like Pittsburgh or Baltimore, where giant industrial complexes were built similarly to this town is just incredible for a person who understands them. It’s not about the coal, soot, or ash, it’s about the aesthetic of the buildings and the grand scale to which they were constructed.

      Also, this “coal smoked environmental disaster…” is the reason people like you and I can have warm homes and a good lifestyle. The people that live up there are mining natural resources, such that the coal they produce can be used to fire coal burning power plants. Respect them for that.

      • Cracker says:

        I completely agree – The beauty of a place like this is its raw industrial ugliness.

      • pe_em says:

        cool pictures of gigantic architecture… yes, I respect this.

        but respect for energy from coal, nuclear power and oil?
        no! I don’t respect energy which will harm peoples health and that kills the nature.
        renewables rock! everywhere!

  16. Joshua says:

    Wish some of these were higher quality so I could use them as desktop backgrounds. >.<

    They’re very nice to stare at.

  17. John says:

    Absolutly stunning pictures, thanks for sharing them with us. We often think of it cold in the UK when it is -5, however in your country people much be far more resistant to the cold temperatures than we are.

    Please keep up the great work.

    • Kirov says:

      Do not forget that the cold out here is very dry so -20 here is not as bad [subjectively speaking] as -4 in UK, where one has this penetrating humid type of cold, that penetrates your bones. Dress up warm and stay out of the wind and you can easily deal with -30 – -40. In Western Europe it is very different because of the sea climate: wet and humid.

  18. Mark says:

    This is what ER is all about. Fantastic post

  19. OJ says:

    Nice colliery, but where is the washing facility? The other post about a coal mine didn’t show one either. I wonder if this Russian coal is clean enough to use as is.

    • Mikey says:

      @OJ – most Russian coal plants don’t have washing facilities. That’s why a lot of it burns so poorly. It’s the biggest single problem with the Russian coal industry. The quality is so poor that they can’t export it except as very low quality brown coal for around US$6-8 /tonne – and that’s if they can find a buyer.

      Russian coal giant SUEK has partnered with an Australian firm Downer EDI to design and build high quality coal washing and processing plant for some of their Eastern mines that will bring the quality of the coal to international standards and the US$25/tonne price range.

  20. JOhn woods says:

    Wow, this is like totally crazy dude, seriously.


  21. jan says:

    I’ve seen cold but not as extensive as this. Winnipeg Canada can get to -30C but this looks colder. Starting cars left outside can be a problem and may have to be taken to indoor garages to warm up enough to start the engine.

    wonderful photography Dimitry!

  22. These are truly awesome pictures for me. They have opened my eyes to a whole new wonderland (as long as i dont have to live or visit there). Thank you


  23. Patrick says:

    What city is this?

  24. KuruptMoFo says:

    this is in dallas texas

  25. dito01 says:

    wow “refigerator” place…

  26. John P. says:

    That’s COLD!!!!

    Great pictures.

  27. ___ says:

    This is the worst July in years here in Siberia!

  28. jedi says:

    -40 C is not a problem. You can even ride a snowboard, if you have a proper equipment.

  29. 囧歌 says:

    cool ~~~~ -_-!!!

  30. 8-P says:

    Wow, what a photographic beauty, what a place!

  31. Christian says:

    I would hate sustained cold like that, but here, in parts of central and northern Canada, during winter, we see -30 to -40 regularly, and in the more northern areas, -40 to -50 regularly.

    Here in Calgary, we can see as low as -42ºC in winter and as warm as +40ºC in summer.

  32. mikko says:

    -40 is cold for a poor people who barely have heating in their soviet era houses.

    For others like Scandinavians and Canadians -40 is something that occurs almost every winter but is hardly any problem as houses are good and very very few poor people need to stay out.

    However, -40 c won’t kill you if you leave your window open for 5 minutes… maybe the plants next your window.

    I’ve slept out in the forest (in a sleeping bag) at -51 C on a skiing trip across Finnish Lapland and pitched a tent in a light breeze at -60.5 C up the mountainside of Denali, Alaska and I have to tell you the difference between still dry air and fast blowing semi-moist air is the difference between black and white.

    Nice pix but please don’t mention freezing temperatures in your “only in Russia” list.

  33. John says:

    Nothing of interest. So what it is frozen? Dull pictures. Go again and capture the cold

  34. Chip D Wood says:

    Most if not all of these images have a high amount of HDR (High Dynamic Range) tinkering going on within them, not to mention a good chunk of Photo-shopping. Also noticed a few shots that were clipped together using a tool called “Photomerge” in PS.

    They’re cool shots, but they’re most certainly not “un-messed-around-with”.

    The use of High Dynamic Range is probably the key reason why there are no people in any of the images. What it means is capturing the very same picture content at different exposures. People move, and would therefore throw off any attempts at verasimilitude within the “pieced-together” exposures.

    Still, a cool gallery, all of it being said. The richness in the colors (thank you HDR) is particularly attractive.

  35. Chip D Wood says:

    Oh- and for those who would wonder why on EARTH ANYWONE would wish to to live in such an incredibly hostile and frigid environment?

    Here’s one reason:



  36. Chris Owens says:

    These are such great photos! I love the buildings.

  37. brian says:

    i live in a mountain town in colorado where we have stretches of -40 (-10 by day). if you dont have a heater block on your car when it’s parked outside you likely won’t be able to start it up until it heats up outside the next day. it’s also a good idea to by a heating wire to wrap around your car’s fuel line so that your fuel line doesn’t freeze. really i can’t even feel the difference between -10 and -40, it all hurts the same.

  38. IndianaJohn says:

    This is a fine photo essay. Too bad that the people are so camera shy. Surely they are a hardy people. A doctor would need a night job in the coal plant with such a people.

    Those of US(A) who sit at our computers in warm, or cool comfort have little idea of the value of electricity or heat. Until the lights and heat go out.
    I respect all those who feed us and provide heat and light to our lives.
    How the phony ‘greens’ would cry if coal or oil supply were interrupted. Or if they had to miss a meal.

  39. T says:

    Your photos aren’t showing up! Just FYI.

  40. aa says:

    cant see the pictures

  41. Brittany says:

    Too bad I can’t see the pictures. I would’ve love to.

  42. Lyf is full of fun.. Each country differs from another..

  43. Glazemoo says:

    Despite all these, I still can not stop loving Siberia

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