1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer, which only Santa has ever seen.
2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT because Santa doesn’t (appear to) handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total — 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that’s 91.8 million homes. One presumes there’s at least one good child in each.
3) 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). 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, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding, etc. This means that Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Helios 2 space probe, moves at a pokey 41.6 miles per second-a conventional reindeer can run 15 miles per hour,tops, .
4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that “flying reindeer” (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload-not even counting the weight of the sleigh * to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison-this is four times the weight of Hillary Clinton.
5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance-this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force. In conclusion: If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’s dead now.
Ah, but we must take into account the alien technology Santa employs (remember the elves)…thus, if he can overcome the propulsion and other problems of physics, and likely then is able to cope with the time problem as well, at least from his relative perspective. The 1/1000 of a second per household would account for the lack of confirmed sightings or other evidence in this case as well. Any creatures that can fly as estimated, are also likely to have just as astounding other metabolic characteristics, so the other issues in dealing with this scientific debate about the livestock must wait until more investigation is complete in the field.
I think we’re on to something. The alien/elf/reindeer/Santa connection should be explored.
1. Obviously Santa has acquired inter-dimensional time/space travel technology from a highly advanced society.
2. The “elves” in the Santa story are merely a mythological misinterpretation by 19th century Europe (and the Coca-Cola Company) of the little grey aliens which are so common today.
4. It has come to light in a recently released MJ-12 document that the wreckage recovered in Roswell N.M. was in fact debris of a downed sleigh. Analysis of the metal used has to date defied identification. In addition to the recovery of alien (elves?) bodies and casualties, eight reindeer carcasses were also recovered. Although severely damaged, autopsies performed on the reindeer showed them to be a highly mutated form of Nordic reindeer. Most notably were extremely dense muscle tissue which in fact HAD NO MASS, Hooves and antlers made of composites exactly as those found in Space Shuttle tiles and extremely large, black, opaque eyes. The command pod of the craft was missing indicating a successful ejection. Interviews with surviving crew members confirm that the command pilot of the craft did in fact escape leaving only the support crew on board at time of impact.
Though skeptical, I still plan to hang up my stocking…how about you?
Ed Note: Although this story (or various incarnations) have floated around the Internet for years, we at The Lucky Puppy would like to finally bring something to light. In December 1990, two rather bored and homesick airmen serving in Operation Desert Storm sat down and wrote the article and crunched the math involved. When you Google this ( and I’m sure you will) please note that other versions invariably omit the Alien Theory.
Merry Christmas and may your Gravy be deep and warm.