One of the great pleasures of living alone is the ability to fully control what's room temperature (at least in theory). Most humans have a sweet spot for comfort, and a group of researchers may have just found it. Your most pleasant indoor environment feels like a different continent entirely.
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Ecologists at North Carolina State University have just published a study looking at the indoor climate preferences of Americans across 37 states. It turns out we'd all rather be in northeast Africa — west central Kenya, to be precise. Outdoor conditions there tend to be warm and low in humidity.
There was some variation, of course. Alaskans and North Carolinians both favored conditions more like Namibia, which is south of the equator. Some states preferred weather on different continents. "Hawaii's closest analog was Brazil in South America, Minnesota's was Bermuda, while Vermont's climate match was Mexico," said corresponding author Michael Just in a press release.
Still, most favored East Africa — and yes, if you noticed something about that part of the world, so did the researchers. Per Just: "We find it interesting that most of the climatically similar outdoor locations were in a region we associate with some of the earliest stages of human evolution."
This certainly has implications for your utility bill, but it's not the most extreme way we manipulate our environment indoors. High-end retailers practically freeze customers to drive them toward making purchases, while women often battle office spaces calibrated to the comfort level of men in suits. Either way, if you've been dreaming of jetting off but can't afford the airfare, you could already be entire continents away.