The Physics
Factbook
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Diameter of an Igloo

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Standardized
Result
Guinness World Records - Science & Technology - Structures - Largest Dome Igloo. 2007. Guinness World Records. June 1, 2007. "The largest traditional self-supporting domed igloo had an internal diameter of 7.36 m (24 ft 2 in) and an internal height of 3.81 m (12 ft 6 in) and was constructed by 29 employees of the Hydro-Quebec LG-3 power station." 7.36 m
Gierek, Tosh. How I built an igloo. The Manitoban. February 12, 2003. "An igloo three to four metres in diameter is a perfect fit for five adults." 3–4 m
Morris, Peter. "Embattled Shadows: A History of Canadian Cinema, 1895-1939". Canada: McGill-Queen's Press- MQUP, 1978. May 31, 2007. "The average Eskimo igloo, about 12 feet in diameter was much too small." 3.66 m
Handy, Richard L. The Igloo and the Natural Bridge as Ultimate Structures. June 1, 2007. "Boas (1888) reported that winter quarters igloos ran 360 to 450 cm. (12 to 15 ft.) in diameter. For larger accommodations several igloos were constructed and connected by vaults, suggesting a size limitation. Stefansson (1927) became adept at igloo-building and reported that the largest he had ever seen was a community "clubhouse" 900 cm. (30 ft.) in diameter, with h/d = 0.35, remarkably close to the theoretical optimum shown in Fig. 2." 3.6–4.5 m
(typical)
9.0 m
(large)
Spencer, Anne. Annie's Snow Page. 1999 - 2006. June 5, 2007. "Some family snowhouses were as much as 10 feet (3 meters) wide." 3.0 m

Igloo is the Inuit word for house, also referred to as a snow house. An igloo is a dome-shaped structure and is usually found in very cold places mainly in the Canada's Central Arctic and Greenland's Thule area. Igloos were created out of snow since snow is a good insulator, due to its low density, which allows there to be a temperature difference between the outside and the inside of the igloo. Therefore when warmed by at least body heat, the interior of an igloo can be as warm as -7 °C to 16 °C, and comfortable enough to survive the extreme cold conditions outside.

The igloo can come in several sizes but the average Eskimo igloo is said to be about 3 to 4 meter and can comfortably house 5 adults. However, community type igloos have reported to be as large as 9.0 meters in diameter. Making an igloo too big or too small can actually cause people to freeze inside so it's important aspect of building. The largest recorded igloo is said to be 7.36 meters built by 29 employees of the Hydro-Quebec LG-3 power station in 2003.

Svetlana Sutskaya -- 2007