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  • Hey there!

  • Welcome to Life Noggin!

  • I've always found it interesting that snow, which is literally frozen water, is such a great insulator that structures made of it can keep you warm.

  • How cool is that?

  • Some people have taken this to the extreme and have used snow and ice to build hotels, palaces, and entire snow cities.

  • It seems like snow can be made into anything, but is there a limit to its construction ability?

  • Each year, cities all around the world throw ice and snow festivals where sculpture artists create amazing constructions out ofwell, out of ice and snow, obviously.

  • One of them held in China's city of Harbin near Siberia, is where two world records have been set.

  • The first was made in 2007 when 600 participants teamed up to create the world's largest snow sculpture,

  • using over 3,000 cubic meters of snow, their creation, named Romantic Feelings, is 35 meters high and 200 meters wide.

  • Then, in 2018, a team of students and professors built the world's largest ice shell, a hollow, 31-meter tall tower with a wall thickness of 25 centimeters.

  • But this structure was only achieved by adding wood fibers to the ice to make it stronger.

  • The material, called pykrete, was created during World War II after a man named Geoffrey Pyke proposed a plan to build an aircraft carrier out of ice.

  • While the carrier was never built, the material was found to be much stronger than ice and even somewhat bulletproof.

  • Because of pykrete's strength, it's possible to build large structures with thin walls of ice.

  • Snow, on the other hand, is a lot harder to fashion into complicated shapes.

  • There's a couple of reasons for that.

  • First of all, it's consistency needs to be just right.

  • Have you ever tried to make a snowball but it wouldn't stay together?

  • That's because the snow was too dry.

  • It needs enough moisture to stick together, but not too much where it becomes slushy.

  • This sweet spot is around 0 degrees Celsius, where the snow forms that classic snowflake shape, called dendrites, with branches that can hold onto water.

  • The other problem is pressure caused by the weight of the snow structure.

  • When snow experiences high pressures, it's forced to recrystallize and eventually compresses into ice - which is how glaciers form.

  • This makes it hard to make a large structure purely out of snow without it becoming icy.

  • But one thing you wouldn't have to worry about with a large snow structure is melting.

  • The sun is only able to melt the snow on the surface, so huge, densely packed snow piles can take a while to melt.

  • This comes in handy when you want to keep your snowperson intact.

  • In fact, the world's tallest snowperson, reaching 37 meters, took a month to buildand is absolutely terrifying.

  • This beautiful monstrosity has truck tires for buttons and 9 meter-long pine trees for arms!

  • Her name is Olympia and she haunts my nightmares.

  • So go out there and try to build the worlds tallest snow structure if you can!

  • I believe in you!

  • I would say make a snow blocko, but that seems kinda difficult, and my arms and head and legs aren't attached to my body, so I mean if you can figure out how to do that, maybe send me a photo on twitter @LifeNoggin.

  • Do you like playing in the snow, or are you someone that hates winter?

  • Let me know now in the comment section below or tell me, what should I talk about next.

  • Curious to know what would happen if the earth only had one season like winter?

  • Check out this video. This would have a big effect on plants and animals, and in turn, a huge impact on humans as well.

  • There actually has sort of been an example of this over 200 years ago.

  • As always, my name is Blocko, this has been Life Noggin, don't forget to keep on thinking!

Hey there!

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How High Can We Build With Snow?

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    Minnie posted on 2020/12/01
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