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 two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. But since Santa doesn't handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the caseload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to the Population Reference Bureau. At an average of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each home.

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 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), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting stops, to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second. A conventional reindeer can run 15 miles per hour.

4) The wight of 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 321,200 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 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 weight, not even counting the weight of the sleigh, to 352,430 tons. Again for comparison, this is four times the weight of a large ocean-liner.

5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance. This will heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering the atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and creating a deafening sonic boom in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousands of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,260.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

6) The only way Santa and the reindeer could possibly survive this would be through the help of Rudolph's nose. It is highly probable that this unique nose is made of heat resistant material and becomes red hot from deflecting the air resistance around the sleigh and the other reindeer, creating a protective envelope similar to what is commonly known as "drafting" in automobile racing. This would also explain why they all live at the North Pole, as it takes one year of subzero temperatures to cool down Rudolph's nose before making the trip again.

Reindeer report

Flight paths:busier
Driver:Christmas, (F.). Still baffled by postcodes.
Children:More. And stay up later

Mission in spite of all this accomplished.



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