With the arrival of summer, many people find themselves battling the heat. The "summer three treasures" - air conditioning, watermelon, and popsicles - become essential for survival.
Compared to the scorching temperatures of 35-40 degrees Celsius outside, the cool comfort of an air-conditioned room is an obvious choice. Some also seek relief with water beds and cool mats. However, on those hot days when air conditioners and coolers are not available, people toss and turn in bed, too hot to sleep. That's when the idea of putting oneself in the refrigerator may arise. But wait, there is no need for a refrigerator. The "igloo" exists in this world.
The igloo is a unique building designed for Eskimos living in the Arctic region. It is shaped like a semi-circle, similar to a cauldron buckled onto the ground. It is mainly made of various sizes of snow bricks, as the extremely low temperatures make it impossible for tents to provide sufficient warmth. Thus, Eskimos in the Arctic region created this building and moved in to live. However, the average lifespan of an igloo is only about 50 days, so they need to move frequently.
Life inside an igloo is not as "furnished" as one might think. The Eskimos also have their own rules and regulations. First of all, they use "snow" to make tables and beds. What's more special is that they sleep in the air. In the deepest part of the snow house, there is a high platform made of snow, which serves as their couch. This is because the cold air goes down and the heat goes up. For the Eskimos, the igloo itself is in a cold area, so the contrast between heat and cold is more noticeable.
So, how exactly do they build a full igloo? Here are the steps:
1. Choose a suitable location
The Inuit use their ancestral experience to determine the right place to build, by drilling the snow with poles in a simple "ground survey".
2. Make snow bricks
Using a snow knife to cut through the snow layer, they cut out snow bricks. The size of a snow brick is about 1 meter long, 20 cm wide, and 40 cm high.
3. Build the bottom layer of snow bricks
They use the cut snow bricks to build a masonry circle around the pit formed by taking snow bricks. The plane is kept as round as possible to maintain stability. Snow bricks are trimmed with a snow knife to ensure that the joints are flat. After laying the first layer, they use the snow knife to cut the upper surface into a slope.
4. Lay the upper layer of snow bricks
Using the slope as a base, they continue laying snow bricks, spiraling up and gradually sloping inward. While laying the bricks, they trim the joints with the snow knife to ensure that the two snow bricks fit tightly together.
The snow bricks gradually come together, leaving only the hole directly above. They race one block upward from the inside and cut it with a snow knife so that the block fits just inside the opening, like the capstone of an arch structure.
After capping, people are still inside this vault, so they use the snow knife to cut a door out - this door is also the door of the igloo. They sprinkle snow into the gap between the snow bricks to strengthen the joints and block cold air flow gaps. Then they put back the snow brick cut from the door, cut a small ventilation hole with the snow knife, and complete the igloo.