Polar bears are warm-blooded creatures that survive in the freezing Arctic. Their heavy fat and fur let them absorb heat under their skin, allowing them to endure the harsh cold of the Arctic. A team of Royal Danish Academy students has designed an emergency accommodation that might make survival in sub-zero areas, such as the Arctic, much more tolerable. They created a pop-up igloo with an origami-like form that helps secure the tent and maintain the interior warm, similar to a polar bear’s skin. The pop-up igloo may also be constructed in seconds and placed along trekking pathways during catastrophes.
The team, led by Henry Glogau and Samuel Barratt, claimed that their concept intends to assist people abandoned and disoriented in harsh Arctic circumstances with little visibility, no phone reception, and a high risk of hyperthermia, which is a serious ongoing priority when assistance is hours away. According to MailOnline, “at the microscopic level, local level instability is generated within the origami chambers, helping snow to automatically pile up in blizzard-like settings, thus providing a good insulation and protective layer.” As per MailOnline, the proposal suggests an alternate shelter structure that will use the high freezing temperatures to its benefit rather than fight them. The tent converts into a toasty pop-up igloo thanks to its origami-like shape and mylar fabric.
The tent could bear the weight of a 154-lb (70kg) adult standing on top and stay in place and intact under snowstorm conditions, according to the investigators. This is due to the fact that the internal fiberglass crystalline structure is linked to the outermost surface of the origami outer shell. For one month in Alaska, the crew put the tent through intensive testing to determine its capabilities and limits. The analysis indicates that with 11.8 to 15 inches (300 to 400mm) of snow cover, an average temperature differential of 37°C (66.6°F) between indoors and outdoors could be sustained. A traditional winter tent, on the other hand, offers a 13°C (23.4°F) variation.
Polar bears remain warm with two main types of fur: extensive oily protective bristles and short insulating hair. The long, oily protective hair is porous, trapping warmth and bringing it close to the skin, keeping polar bears comfortable by creating an oily coating. However, the heat is trapped close to the skin by the insulating hair. Polar bears can stay warm by mixing the qualities of these two hairs with their dark skin beneath, which is ideal for catching rays from the Arctic sun. According to the researchers, the shape of the origami-like pop-up igloo also provides heat to its residents in the very same way. The mylar material used in the origami construction works in a similar way, reflecting heat into the area within the tent to keep its people feeling comfortable.