Igloos are the familiar dome-shaped dwellings made built from compacted snow. It is commonly associated with the Inuit hunters, who would build igloos usually as a temporary shelter from their hunting trips. Here are the other interesting facts about igloos!
In fact, Inuit hunters can build igloos even less than an hour!
Igloos provide the Inuits shelter as well as warmth from the cold outside. Warmth, you say? Well, although snow is obviously not a source of heat, it otherwise acts as an insulator of heat from various sources, the chief ones being human heat, and the others being heat generated from oil lamps or small wood fires for cooking (although most of the meat is eaten raw).
Some igloos would feature windows to let in some light. It is good to include a window especially on sunny days. A good window typically has a seal skin or a pelt of a caribou (a type of deer).
However, the Inuits do not often dwell on snow houses, but on earthen homes for much of the year.
The word can be applied to a dwelling made from any materials such as wood, cement or stone, but it is mostly identified with snow.
Nanook of the North is a silent film directed by Robert Flaherty and is a part-documentary and part-drama. The building of the igloo is one of the film’s most discussed parts. The shooting of the igloo was met with great difficulties. As cameras were big and bulky at that time, fitting them inside the igloo would result in its collapse. And when the igloo’s construction was finished and it was time for Flaherty to shoot inside, he found out that it was too dark to be photographed.
Instead, he had a three-walled igloo built to comfortably accommodate his bulky camera as well as to allow enough light so that he could take brighter shots of the igloo’s interiors.
An igloo is so sturdy that it can even withstand winds as strong as a hurricane’s
Igloos are actually traditionally connected with the people of central Arctic Canada, as well as people in Thule (now Qaanaaq) Greenland.
Speaking of big, the biggest igloo ever built is several miles down and away from the Arctic region — it is located in the municipality of Zermatt, Switzerland. Measuring 10.5 (34 feet) meters tall and having an interior diameter of 12.9 (42 feet) feet, it is the biggest dome igloo ever.
Because the snow bricks used for the igloo’s construction are compacted, the igloo is strong enough to withstand against some forces of nature such as hurricane-force winds.
Sometimes though, people make igloos as their permanent or semi-permanent shelters. Often there are Inuit villages consisting of groups of igloos.