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How Others Live: Part 2

Posted by Johnine Larsen on October 1, 2015
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We all know what a home looks like in Seattle. But what about elsewhere?

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Survival Bunkers

Survival bunkers are a surprisingly booming industry (pun intended). Some people live in bunkers for fear of nuclear war; others, fear of neighbors. Some people live in them just because they’re cheap and unique.

There are as almost as many types of survival bunkers as there are normal homes, from giant underground luxury facilities to homemade pits dug in the woods. One thing they all have in common, though: self-sustainability. People who live in survival bunkers keep months and months of nonperishable food and water with them. They have air scrubbers and waste disposal systems set up. These survival bunkers might be claustrophobic, but at least there aren’t any windows to wash!


Photo from Atlas Survival Shelters

Tiny Homes

The tiny home craze has swept across the country, inspiring people to build smaller and smaller. Those who live in tiny homes often espouse simple living, and many look like living Instagram promotions. A tiny home, according to the official classification, measures less than 400 sq. ft. And you thought your house was too small!


Sometimes tiny homes are practical. Depending on the region, if you build a home beneath a certain square footage and/or equip it with wheels, you don’t need a building permit. Other times, tiny homes serve financial reasons. They can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, not the hundreds of thousands. Other times, they’re just cute and novel.

Photo by FireManWoman



They aren’t just for the Inuit anymore. Many winter hikers build temporary igloos instead of sleeping in a thin tent. They follow guides like this 1949 short film (talk about a throwback!). These hiking igloos aren’t meant to be lived in long-term, but a few new luxury igloos are built for just that.


Ice hotels, some larger than 2,000 square meters (meters, not feet), are drawing tourists to northern countries. These hotels are only open during the winter, and they require regular rebuilding. But they’re worth it. These things are cool–so cool you’ll need gloves and a good jacket. The ice hotel shown here is Sorrisniva Iglo Hotel in Alta, Norway. Click that link for a full tour!

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How Others Live: Part 1