Yakutia or Sakha Republic is the biggest region of Russia. Russian and Sakha(Yakut) languages are official in Yakutia. Yakut language is spoken by approximately 40% of the population. Yakutia have an area of 3,083,523 km2 (1,190,555 sq mi). It is by 8 times more than area of Germany or 6 times more than area of Spain. With population about 1 million 40% of Sakha Republic lies above the Arctic circle and all of it is covered by eternally frozen ground (permafrost). Climate is sharply continental with a range in temperature of 100°C from +40°C(104°F) in summer to -60°C(-76°F) in winter. The lowest temperatures ever recorded on the planet outside Antarctica occurred in Sakha Republic.
Two villages in Yakutia, Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk are the coldest permanently inhabited places on Earth. The lowest temperature recorded in Verkhoyansk, was −69.8 °C (−93.6 °F) in February 1892. On February 6, 1933, a temperature of −67.8 °C (−90 °F) was recorded in Oymyakon. At the same time during a short summer temperature can reach +30 °C (86 °F).
Yakutsk is the capital city of the Sakha Republic. It located about 450 kilometers (280 mi) south of the Arctic Circle on the Lena River. Average winter temperature of Yakutsk is −34 °C (−30 °F), which makes it the coldest city of its size in the world. The lowest temperature recorded in Yakutsk was −64.4 °C (−83.9 °F) on 5 February 1891 and the highest temperatures +38.4 °C (101.1 °F) on 17 July 2011. Yakutsk was established in 1632 by Cossack Petr Beketov and now have population of 269 000 people. The only reliable way get to the city is Lena river or plane. "Road" exist, but trip can take weeks if you do not loose your car in the forest and swamps.
Lena is one of the largest world rivers, it spreads to a width of 30 km (18 mi) and stretches 4400 km from the Baikal mountain chain to the Artic Ocean. Apart of river itself there is Lena Pillars Nature Park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - spectacular natural rock formation stretched for 40 km along the banks of the Lena River in about 200 km south from Yakutsk. The pillars are about 200 meters (650 ft) high. You can see photos of Lena Pillars here.
26% of the population adheres to Yakut shamanism (paganism). Sakha people believed that universe consists of 3 worlds: upper, lower and middle world. Upper world divided to 9 levels and on the higest level lives Yryn Aan Toyon - creator of universe. Different gods and spirint inhabit all 3 worlds. Lower world have evil spirits only.
One of the bright national peculiarity is an ancient music instrument - homus (jaw harp, vargan). Homus, vargan or jaw harp is one of the oldest music instruments in the world. Homus is very popular here. Yakutsk have the only khomus museum in the world - The State Museum of Homus. Here where you can find jaw harps from different countries and regions. There are many music bands who play khomus(vargan) music. The most popular Yakutian khomus band is Ayarkhaan.
Sakha people do not have their own Santa Claus - "Chyskhaan". Chyskhaan is half human and half bull, he is Lord of Cold. He is the one who send cold to the Earth when winter comes. His another name is Winter Bull.
95% of Russia’s diamond and 15% of gold produce in Yakutia. Town Mirny is famous because of it giant diamond mine. The official name is kimberlite diamond pipe "Mir"("Peace"). It is one of biggest holes on the planet. Diameter of mine is 1.2 km (3,900 ft), depth 525 m (1,722 ft).
Batagai crater or Batagaika Megaslump appeared few decades ago. This gigantic slump started to form in 1960s and grows with speed of 15 m per year. Width is 800 m, length 1000 m, depth 60-100 meters.