50. The European Cold Snap

Photographer: Dmitry Lovetsky

Year: January-February 2012

Location: Continental Europe

Casualties: 650

Predictably, Northern and Eastern Europe got the worst of the chill. Finland won the coldest award with a -38 degree Fahrenheit reading, while Latvia spent 24 hourswhen the whole country remained below -20. People made the best of all these "low" statistics, and some even created "highs" of their own. Serbia charged its highest ever energy consumption in those cold days, forcing a temporary ban on non-essential electronics and decorative lighting. Meanwhile, Ukraine had an increased instance of drinking-and-dressing, or putting on heavy vodka jackets and not real ones, as hospitals found that a majority of people with frostbite or hypothermia were also under the influence. Perhaps alcohol can explain what possessed this young fellow, in an utterly iced St. Petersburg, to jump in a frozen lake half naked.