How An Igloo Keeps You Warm

How An Igloo Keeps You Warm

Imagine that thousands of years before, humans were using frozen ice water to stay warm.

Sounds strange, right? Let’s try to understand them.

The Arctic remains one of the most challenging environments for flora and fauna as well as human beings. The Inuit have managed to live in the area, where the temperature drops to 50 degrees below zero, for incredible 5,000 years. Besides, it is interesting that there are nearly 50 words for “snow”. For example, “matsaaruti” for wet snow, “aqilokoq” for softly falling snow, etc. That is why it was important what kind of snow you used to build an igloo.

It is still unknown who built the first igloo, but indeed the igloo can keep warm inside. How? To answer this question, first, we should understand what being cold means. When your body temperature starts decreasing, you are feeling that heat leaves you. But what exactly is going on is radiation, convection, and conduction. That happens in the igloo and houses, too. Inside, a person radiates body heat, which moves around by convection, and then leaves through the walls by conduction.

Besides, snow, which is the main material of the igloo, is a perfect insulator. But not just snow that you make snowballs with. Good igloo blocks are not molded and are cut out of the ground. In that way, they are great windbreakers and weigh not that much. Besides, the igloo is made in the form of an arch. Inside, a snow house is carved at different levels. So, the hot air rises, and the cold one leaves through the lower part.

So, now you know how Eskimos have not frozen to death. That also relates to polar bears and groundhogs.

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