The Science Behind Father Christmas - All The Stats You Need To Know

The Science Behind Father Christmas - All The Stats You Need To Know

As we are approaching the end of the year festivities, mathematicians have taken it upon themselves to examine the possible existence of the infamous Saint Nicholas. From the number of homes to be visited to the total weight of gifts, their results suggest that if it really existed, Father Christmas would have a lot of work to do around the holidays!

There are only a few weeks left before the Christmas holidays and for many children an existential question remains, does Father Christmas really exist? To answer this question, a team of scientists looked into the question and had fun calculating what a Christmas night would really look like for the famous delivery boy.

Their results indicate that if he were really to exist, every evening on December 24 a tense countdown would start as he races against the clock.

More than 2 billion children to deliver

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Indeed, Father Christmas must deliver a large number of gifts to many toddlers and all in only 24 hours. This is the reason why this dear Santa made the decision to travel in the opposite direction of the rotation of the Earth, which gives him an additional 24 hours to make his delivery, or a total of 48 hours.

The time that he saves will be necessary to Santa to deliver presents to all the families. For, in total, Earth has nearly 2.1 billion children, or 2.5 children per household. All of these children will eventually mean Santa has to visit 842 million homes in one evening, or 4,072 homes per second.

But that's not all – not all homes being close together, his trip would represent a total journey of 355 million kilometers to reach every single family.

Reindeer going over the speed limit

This long journey is what brings us to the topic of reindeer, those faithful companions of the old bearded man. If they existed, they would reach an average speed near 7 million km/h, which is 6177 times the speed of sound! In addition to this phenomenal speed, the reindeer would be required to carry an extremely heavy sled.

Indeed, a gift weighs about 900 grammes, which would bring the total load of the sled to 321,300 tons. Knowing that a normal reindeer can only carry 136 kilogrammes, more than two million animals would be needed. A last element also has its importance: the resistance of the air.

Indeed, even if our dear Father Christmas managed to gather all these elements, he would have to resist forces 17,500 times higher than gravity according to Spy magazine. So, yes if Santa Claus exists, we must admit that it is magic!

• Emma Jensen
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