How igloos keep people warm?!

Ahmad Zabir
3 min readSep 6, 2017

Imagine yourself in the coldest part of Arctic, ice-cold winds are blowing and the temperature is about -45 degree Celsius. You might consider a thick-walled house (with smoke coming out of the chimneys) to be your last hope of survival. Consider again, because all you need to survive those ice cold winds and bone-freezing temperature is snow, a lot of snow. But not to build a snowman, rather to build a big halo snowman-tummy, with enough room for you to sleep.

The word igloo comes from the Inuit language which means house (not a snow-house in particular). Inuit people live in the artic tundra where the temperature ranges from. -40c to -60c in winters. Two popular misconceptions about Inuit people are. 1) That these snow-made houses are their permanent residence. 2) They build igloos because they have. “nothing else to built a house from”. Time to debunk them.

Most Inuit people used to live in normal brick houses and still do, but when on hunting trips etc igloos were their D.I.Y houses, and still are. Although some people used igloos as their winter residence, and some communities went as far as making igloo-villages…igloos were still temporary.

Igloos have various sizes, ranging from small ones, typically used by Inuit for fishing and hunting trips, to huge ones, for special gatherings(you know, pole dancing, etc).

But as to the question that how can snow keep you warm, there are three main things which play a role in keeping someone warm inside an igloo:

Building Material

The material, without a doubt, plays the most significant role in the working of an igloo. Igloos are built from compressed snow, it is mostly the blown snow cut down by knives into blocks. Now unlike ice, compressed snow has many air pockets, and as air is an insulator, snow works best for the construction of an igloo. In other words snow doesn’t let heat get through easily, thus the heat produced by your body or by a fire (inside the igloo) stays in.

Structure

The second important thing is the structure of an igloo. The inside of an igloo is tiered. Mostly it is divided into three levels (heights).The most upper level is where one sleeps, Why? Because hot air rises, and you want to be as close to heat as…

Ahmad Zabir

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