For the meteorologists working at the remote Kara-Tyurek meteorological station, a simple trip to the bathroom is no mean feat. Located in the Altai Mountains, Siberia's highest weather station is home to what has been described as "the world's most extreme toilet." The tiny structure is literally perched on the edge of a cliff, some 8,500 feet (2,591 m) above sea level.
The station is staffed by four scientists who must brave temperatures as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit (-50 degrees C) when they want to go outside, even just to use the bathroom.
On top of the world:
- Kara-Tyurek meteorological station was set up by Soviet leader Josef Stalin in 1939. Its weather reports are vital to pilots crossing the treacherous Siberian climate, en route from Europe to East Asia.
- It is so remote that supplies like food and firewood have to be flown in by helicopter. Water comes from melted snow stored in barrels.
- The nearest sizeable village is 60 miles (97 km) away. Gorno-Altaisk, the capital of Siberia's Altai Republic, is 500 miles (805 km) away, and Moscow is located 2,039 miles (3,281 km) to the west.