It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But wait… Santa Claus ain’t real?
December has come and everyone is excited to experience the joy and warmth of Christmas again. People are coming home to their families, lighting up their houses with decors, exchanging gifts, and sharing their blessings. Perhaps this is the perfect time for everyone to relax after a year’s work.
But not for Santa Claus. This only means that he should be working again in the North Pole with his reindeers mostly for the kids who are expecting him. All for the spirit of Christmas to be alive among the young ones.
While most of us have entertained the belief that Santa Claus is just a figment of our imagination (kids, sorry for ruining that), engineers have further provided mathematical proofs here and there that the non-religious Christmas poster boy is just impossible. Or in this dimension of the universe, at least.
Here are the conclusions that engineers have made when they think too much about Christmas:
The total number of children in the world is about 2 billion. Given that Santa only takes care of the Christians, this eliminates the Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish children in his list, leaving 15% of the total children population, which is more or less 378 million. On average, there are 3.5 children per household. There are approximately 8 million homes in all. Let’s settle with the notion that there is at least one good child in each.
Reindeers do not have the capacity to fly. There are no reports that one of their species can be in mid-air. Perhaps only Santa has seen one and the rest of the world hasn’t. Science says that Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is fake.
Assuming Santa travels from east to west, this gives him 7 more hours to work with thanks to time zones and the rotation of the Earth. This means that he has 822.6 visits per second, giving Santa 1/1000th of a second to do the job in each Christian household having a good kid. Doing this includes parking, hopping out the sleigh, jumping down the chimney, filling the stockings, leaving the gifts under the tree, going out, and proceeding to the next house.
Let’s say that each of these 91.8 million homes are distributed evenly, the houses will be 0.78 miles per household. This gives Santa a total trip of 75 1/2 million miles – that’s without the bathroom breaks.
Given these conditions, Santa’s sleigh should be traveling at 650 miles per second to cater to all the good Christian children in the world. That’s but 3,000 times the speed of sound. An average reindeer only runs at 0.00416667 mph. No human and reindeer has ever hacked time.
Apart from the travel times of Santa, his sleigh’s payload is just as controversial.
Say the average weight of gift to a child is medium-sized legos weighing 2 pounds. The sleigh should be carrying 321,300 tons for the gifts, not counting the overweight Santa.
A reindeer can only pull no more than 300 pounds. Assuming that the flying reindeer could pull 10 times their usual capacity, Santa will need 214,000 reindeers in all. This is an incredible weight for the reindeers to drag – 353,430 tons including them – more so fly the gifts to the households.
That massive total weight creates a huge air resistance, which is comparable with the heat whenever a spacecraft re-enters into the Earth’s atmosphere. The reindeers that lead the bunch have to absorb 14.2 quintillion joules of energy per second each. Just imagine that. This ridiculous energy moves to the next pair, unto the next, and until the last because laws of physics say they have to combust spontaneously with that amount of heat. In just 4.26 thousands of a second, this can happen.
As with Santa while in mid-air, he is subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times the force of gravity. Granting that Santa is 300 pounds, he might just be hammered to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.