Homes of the World
People often mix up the definitions of a home and a house. However, there is a difference. A house is a building where usually a small group of people, a family, or a single person lives. On the other hand, a home is the place usually a person lives permanently or for a long period of time, especially as a member of a family of household, even if the household has just one person. Basically, a home is where a person lives and feels comfortable. The home could also be temporary, like a hotel, motel, or at a relative's house, which becomes a 'home away from home'. Regardless of the differences between a house and a home, there are several main types of homes people live throughout the world.
Many modern homes are called brick houses, which are found across the world in all climates. Brick has replaced materials such as wood, stone, mud, and straw. The bricks are made of molded clay, and dried or fired in an oven, making the materials very sturdy.
A snow house, often called an igloo, is made up of snow blocks built into the shape of a dome. These homes can reach temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit inside even though the outside temperature is minus 100 degrees. They can usually be found in the Arctic region of the Earth such as in Alaska and Greenland where it is cold year-round.
Many people live on water too in boat houses, which can vary in size from small to as large as a 2-story building. People living in them cook and sleep in the boat just like those living in a house on land. Sometimes they are used for vacations only, but throughout the world people live in them all year, especially in places experiencing frequent flooding.
One of the earliest places humans called home was in caves, which could be carved out of soft or hard rock. Most of the time, though, the caves already existed and they only had to increase their size. Caves are still used as homes and found in China, Turkey, Spain and the United States.
A yurt is shaped like a circle, with a wooden frame covered in thick felt, which can be easily moved from place to place. They are like tipis, but have a different shape and are larger. The yurts are light enough to be disassembled easily and carried around on horses or yaks. They are mostly used in Central Asia, commonly in Mongolia.
In places where flooding and high tides often occur, stilt houses are built. They sit above the ground on stilts protecting the occupants from floods as well as wild animals. They are found mostly near coastal areas and common in Southeast Asia.
A mud house is made by combining straw, sticks, oil, and sometimes cattle dung (poop) with mud, and as it dries it become a sturdy building material. They are found in Africa, parts of South America, India, China, and Southeast Asia.
The underground house was first used during the 600s in North Africa by those who had to defend themselves against enemies. Today, they are used to keep families cool in the Sahara region (desert area) protecting them against hot temperatures. They are also found in Turkey, China, and Italy.
There are a few other kinds of homes, some built in trees, on top of mountains, and other places, but a home could be anywhere a person decides to spend a long period of time and wishes to be comfortable in their surroundings.
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