Mystery of the Day — Why Do Doors in Antarctica Have Holes at the Bottom?

Melissa Willets - Author

Jan. 2 2024, Published 1:14 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • Antarctica is very different from other places on the globe for countless reasons.
  • One of the reasons has to do with door holes that are apparently a staple there.
  • The door holes have a very practical explanation and may even save lives.
Article continues below advertisement

Life in Antarctica is different. Consider that even freezers contain heaters to maintain safe temperatures for food storage! The continent boasts the driest climate on the planet. And, that cold! In some areas, the temperature can reach -76 degrees Fahrenheit.

Antarctica residents have clearly come up with some ingenious ways to adapt to life among icebergs and penguins. For instance, there are holes in the bottom of doors that may save lives when reinforcements aren't anywhere nearby.

Article continues below advertisement
Source: Getty Images

Why do doors in Antarctica have holes? For extremely practical purposes.

As TikTok user Matty Jordan explains, all doors on the continent have holes that look like mouse holes.

The reason? So that in case of a fire emergency, first responders can run water hoses through the holes, while also sealing off the spaces in between the doors.

Article continues below advertisement

Basically, as he details, the doors will close automatically if a fire alarm deploys. "The holes allow the doors to close but prevent smoke from moving from one side to the other," he says in a caption to a video that showcases the interesting doors.

"Just makes sense," Matty ultimately claims about the door holes in Antarctica. And when you think about it, um, yes.

One commenter to the viral post about the doors said that this idea should be implemented in all schools and apartment buildings, presumably far beyond the remote continent.

Article continues below advertisement

Doors are just really interesting in Antarctica.

Beyond just featuring holes at the bottom, as Matty also shares on TikTok, exits will also often have a "stash of boot chains."

"These are flexible boot attachments that come in a variety of sizes that help us with extra traction outside," he goes on to note for those of us who live in warmer climates (most of us).

Article continues below advertisement

"Often I don’t need them, but if the temperature is cold, the bottom of my boots tend to freeze up and turn into absolute ice blocks which isn’t good for traction," he explained, again for the uninitiated when it comes to survival in Antarctica.

Article continues below advertisement

Heck, life in Antarctica is just plain interesting.

Beyond the doors being way more useful than, say, the average door in the United States, in general, the people there have come up with all sorts of adaptations to make their existence easier.

You have your fridge and freezer heaters, and then, cars are apparently also typically hooked up to apparatuses that keep the inside fluids from freezing, rendering a car completely useless.

"All of our vehicles, while modified to deal with cold temperatures, need to be plugged into a 'hitching rail.' This hitching rail helps to keep the engine bay warm so none of the fluids and oils freeze in the cold temperatures," Matty explains in another video. "When using a vehicle there is a whole process we have to follow to ensure we give the vehicle sufficient time to warm up before we drive away."

More from Distractify

Latest FYI News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.