Gary Smyth
>Not a trick question. Randy got it dead on. Several points come to mind. One, the shape of the arch is important. Igloos work better as a catenary arch (St. Louis arch shape) than would a cartoon drawn half sphere shape. The inuit used intuition not physics. In this way the line of thrust follows the arch and not thrust outwards as would a half sphere. There are no compression rings or flying buttresses around a temporary igloo. 2nd, The inside of the igloo is well based because a good portion of it is hollowed out (leaving a sleep shelf) of the existing grade. The snow blocks removed in the excavation then make up a portion of the walls beginning one quarter to about half way to final height. This makes it easier to build for the rise, but also it provides a solid undisturbed perimeter foundation for the spiral courses of snow blocks. 3rd, once up, the inside should be smoothed from the rough cut snow blocks. Smoothing on the inside will allow for the most critical step, which is to build a controlled fire inside the shelter (donít forget to vent, but not dead center). The rising heat builds up and will cause the snow to melt and run smoothly down the sides of the shelter without dripping. This moisture is initially wicked by the snow towards the outside of the shelter to freeze but while that is occurring the fire is banked and the door opened. Thus you get flash frozen windproof walls. Pardon the pun but pretty slick, no? In effect you get what amounts to an ice egg shell with compression strength routed directly to the unmoving undisturbed ground. If an igloo is going to be used for a prolonged period of time one must make the igloo base as round as possible and the blocks must be placed properly. When the igloo has been completed it must have a TAJJUTAQ. TAJJUTAQ is an additional low wall of snow blocks built around the outside wall of an igloo used for long term habitation. The space between the two walls is filled with loose snow. It makes the igloo interior darker during the day, but warmer all the time. As to bears they havd been known to show up but they normally alert the animals, or first follow scent to the tunnel which brings firearms into the mix. (Joke: Why do bears like igloos for snacks? Because it's crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside) Finally, for Tommy I did a brief search as to polar bears attacking humans. 1. Polar bears are exclusive meat eaters. 2. Full grown bears have stomachs that can hold 150 lbs. But acording to the net recently in all of Canada, only six people have been killed by polar bears in the past 25 years. In the U. S. (Alaska) during the same time period, only one person was killed. In all of "recorded history", only 19 people have been killed by polar bears in Russia. In all instances in which a person was killed by a polar bear, the animal in question was starving or had been provoked. Polar Bear info:

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