When humans first started exploring the Arctic, they ran across a problem: their boats were prone to being entrapped in the thick ice. Ramming your way through didn't work - in fact, it had a bad reputation for causing ships to drown. There was, however, an option. Squeeze a curved bowl from below and it will rise to the surface. That is fundamental physics. The Fram, the first boat to traverse the Arctic Ocean, featured a bowl-shaped shallow hull, a streamlined keel, and a rudder that could be raised directly out of the water to negotiate the ice. It sprang up and perched on top of the ship as it was crushed by the iceberg. In other words, using science allows you to collaborate with nature. Although this is useful when planning a voyage to the North Pole, it may also be used to better comprehend human civilization and history as a whole.