In an effort to dispel certain myths once and for all, my colleagues at the Institute (also known as “internet forwards”) have completed their exhaustive inquiry into the existence of the elusive, yet always jolly, Santa.
No known species of reindeer can fly, but there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified. While most of these are insects and germs, this does not completely rule out flying reindeer, which only Santa has seen.
There are two billion people under the age of 18 in the world. Since Santa doesn’t appear to handle Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total, or 378 million.
Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west, which seems logical to us at the Institute. This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. This means that Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3000 times the speed of sound.
The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set, the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa who is invariably described as overweight. Conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 lbs. Even granting the “flying reindeer” could pull ten times the normal amount, we would need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload to 353,430 tons.
353,430 tons traveling at 650 mps creates enormous air resistance. This will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously.
But remember kids, when you stop believing in Santa is when you start getting underwear for Christmas.
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve seen Santa?