In the summer of 2018, a youngster called Pavel Yakovlev found what looked like nothing more than a piece of bone. The 11-year-old made the discovery near his village in the Sakha Republic, part of the Russian Federation. But once experts reviewed the boy’s find, it turned out to be much, much more than just an old bone fragment.
The Sakha Republic, also known as Yakutia, is in Russia’s far eastern region and extends for about 1.2 million square miles. That’s not far off a third the size of the entire U.S., which covers some 3.8 million square miles in total.
This sprawling land has the distinction of including one of the world’s coldest, permanently inhabited villages – Oymyakon. A public thermometer installed in an attempt to attract tourists to this chilly outpost was shattered after recording a temperature of -79.6 °F in January 2018. How many tourists made it to this Siberian district before the thermometer disintegrated is unknown.