Social Question

Aster's avatar

How cold is it inside an igloo and what do they use for warmth?

Asked by Aster (19984points) August 5th, 2010

It isn’t true that Eskimos build a FIRE inside an igloo, is it? What do you think the temperature would be in there? If they cook inside, how do they keep it from melting?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

8 Answers

mrentropy's avatar

” Snow is used because the air pockets trapped in it make it an insulator. On the outside, temperatures may be as low as −45 °C (−49.0 °F), but on the inside the temperature may range from −7 °C (19 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F) when warmed by body heat alone.[4]

Architecturally, the igloo is unique in that it is a dome that can be raised out of independent blocks leaning on each other and polished to fit without an additional supporting structure during construction. The igloo, if correctly built, will support the weight of a person standing on the roof. Also, in the traditional Inuit igloo the heat from the kudlik (qulliq) (stone lamp) causes the interior to melt slightly. This melting and refreezing builds up a layer of ice that contributes to the strength of the igloo.[5]”—Excerpted from da Wiki

Aster's avatar

Thanks! Do they cook inside? Surely they don’t cook outside.

mrentropy's avatar

“The sleeping platform is a raised area. Because warmer air rises and cooler air settles, the entrance area acts as a cold trap whereas the sleeping area will hold whatever heat is generated by a stove, lamp or body heat.”—Wiki again

“The snow blocks to make the igloo are cut from inside its shape. Half is left untouched though, and this raised part is the sleeping area. This is the warmest part of the igloo because warm air rises. The other half of the igloo is used for cooking and eating. An oil lamp gives light and heat for cooking and warmth. A window to let light in can be cut from one of the snow blocks and a block of ice inserted.
Cooking in an Igloo
Cooking is done over a seal oil-lamp. A soapstone pot is hung over the lamp, continuously providing a soup or cooked meat whenever it is needed. The hunters catch seal, caribou and fish which the women prepare and cook.” E-How

I reckon they do.

Aster's avatar

thanks. So they cook inside over an oil lamp. Sounds claustrophobic but I guess you get used to it. I wonder how big they are? I’ve thought of them as being quite small.

Austinlad's avatar

Would you call an Eskimo’s bathroom an Ig-Loo.

Frenchfry's avatar

I remember living up North . Building igloos as a kid. It was fun. It was warmer inside. Never got to play with matches though.

MissAusten's avatar

This past winter we went to a Winter Festival at a local orchard. One of the attractions was a real igloo, built by a couple of guys who had done a lot of traveling and hunting in arctic regions. One of the guys who built the igloos said they didn’t use anything for heat other than fur and bodies. They had six guys sleeping in the igloo, with furs under and over them. He said it was very warm. The igloos he talked about weren’t permanent dwellings, but set up to camp for the night while dog sledding long distances. He said it took about an hour for that group to build the igloo, but they were very experienced.

All I could think of was how stinky it must have been, with all that fur and six unwashed men in such a small space.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Gosh, I thought they kept warm with the peels of seals. I stand corrected.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther