Is there a Santa Claus?

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.

There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the

world. BUT since 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.

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 and 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 Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky

27.4 miles per second; a conventional reindeer can

run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

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 anoint, 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 the Queen Elizabeth.

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.

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