Science with Shields: Episode #63 – Arctic Blubber

Science with Shields

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how animals stay warm in the arctic.

What you need: 

  1. Ice cubes
  2. Water
  3. Bowl
  4. Crisco
  5. Plastic bag or gloves (optional)


Fill a big bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Next stick your hand into the icy water, and see how long you can last with your hand in the water. Probably, not long. Next, put Crisco on your finger, or hand, and stick it into the water. Can you keep your hand in the icy water longer now? If you do not want stick your hand directly into the water, you can use a plastic bag or latex gloves to cover your hand.


Arctic animals have a layer of blubber or fat on them, and that is what keeps them warm, that layer of fat. Crisco, is a vegetable fat, but it works similarly to the blubber and keeps our finger or hand warmer in the icy cold water. This same concept is why it is so important for us to layer up in the winter and make sure to wear our hat, gloves, and coats!

Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.

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