Why I don't believe in Santa
No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 30,000 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 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 the 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 stocking, 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 75.5 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us do at
least once every 31 hours, plus feeding, etc.
This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, about
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
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 321,000 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" (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 the Queen Elizabeth (the
cruise ship, that is).
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 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.
letzte Änderung: 1997-06-11 --