Igloos, or the Ice Houses are generally built of snow and ice in very cold places. An igloo is a dome-shaped building, with blocks of ice built up in a spiral. The roof has a small hole for ventilation. The short door opening and a tunnel in front of the dome structure stops the heat from flowing outside and keeps the igloo warmer than the outside weather.
Sometimes, blankets can be hung on the outside of the igloo so that the cold does not reach the inside.
The construction process of igloo is very interesting. Compact bricks of snow are cut from snow so that they are strong, and the structure is built without using any cement. The heat from the humans living inside melts the bricks and fuses them together. Wow!
Aren’t you thinking now, who lives inside the igloos? Is it the Penguins :) Ha! Not really!
Igloos are mostly built as a hunting or a camping station or as a temporary house by humans. And sometimes for living permanently – for example by people like the Eskimos or the Inuits ( are a group of native people inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, the United States, and Russia ). They build larger igloos that they use as permanent home for their families. In fact sometimes when they have more than one family living close by they build a network of igloos connected together by tunnels.
Did you know that there are igloo hotels? The Kakslauttanen Hotel, in Finland gives visitors the special opportunity to admire the Northern Lights from the comfort and warmth of their own glass igloo.
Now I have a question for you – Why is an igloo dome shaped? Well, an arched dome shape is a balanced shape. It can support itself and stay strong even during arctic storms when powerful winds blow. In addition to the strength the shape provides, it also provides good insulation due to minimal surface area of the spherical section.