5 mysteries about Santa Claus
Santa Claus will soon begin his journey around the world, it is said. Some doubt its existence, and they ask questions… which the Rumor Detector tried to answer.
Can santa-claus' waistline prevent him from coming down the chimney fireplace?
Researchers from Alberta who have studied “Santa Claus' occupational health” recall that, according to illustrations designed by a soft drink manufacturer, Santa Claus was already an old man in the years 1930 and was overweight. He would thus be part of the 80 and over group and would be at least in the 75th percentile for waist circumference. Based on this information and charts produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that Santa Claus would have a waist circumference of at least 112 cm.
< p>Also, according to US retailer eFireplaceStore, there are two types of fireplaces. Double-walled chimneys generally have an internal diameter ranging from 13 to 20 cm. Air-cooled fireplaces, which are generally used for open hearths, have a somewhat larger internal diameter, ranging from 20 to 60 cm. Santa Claus may therefore find himself cramped. In 2012, the CDC was concerned about its safety in this type of confined space.
How many children-in-the-world-must-visit-on-christmas-night Christmas?
According to data from the United Nations, there were 1.34 billion children aged 0 to 9 on Earth in 2020. More than half (54%) of these children lived somewhere in Asia and 28% in Africa. . So Santa should be working a lot harder — and faster — during nighttime time zones in these parts of the world: a quick calculation reveals that 1.34 billion children in 24 hours is an average of 15 000 children per second. Even more so in Asia.
Furthermore, Santa's workload has increased significantly over the past 70 years. Indeed, in 1950, there were only 608 million children on Earth. This number has since doubled. And it will continue to grow as the United Nations estimates that an average of 140 million babies were born each year between 2015 and 2020.
Is it possible for a reindeer to have a red nose?
According to researchers from the Netherlands and Norway, the reindeer would have the nose – a little – red because of the microcirculation of blood in this organ. In their article in a Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal —an edition famous for “ light ” or humorous topics, but not wrong—scientists have found that the nasal mucous membranes of reindeer are very rich in blood vessels and that there is a high concentration of red blood cells. These many blood vessels would be an adaptation to the extreme temperature in which the reindeer evolve since it would protect their nose from freezing and regulate the temperature of the brain.
However, the Alberta scientists quoted above doubt that this signal is an adequate beacon to limit the risk of collisions with planes…
How many sprites are needed to make all the toys?
A science journalist from New Hampshire, Dave Brooks, took an interest in this economic issue. First of all, according to his calculations made in 2015, if each child receives only one present from Santa Claus, the elves must therefore produce more than a billion presents each year. Brooks assumes that an efficient and talented sprite can build one toy per hour, which therefore means that more than a billion hours of work will be required.
If one believes that Santa Claus must offer reasonable working conditions to his elves and that they work 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, so Santa Claus must hire more than 600,000 elves to make all the toys.
Is it possible that a Christmas-village exists at the North Pole?
Satellites from NASA's Landsat program have been taking pictures of Earth since the 1970s. However, to this day, the village of Santa Claus has still not been located. According to the United States Geological Survey, since the North Pole is made up entirely of ice that floats on the Arctic Ocean, this location is not photographed by Landsat program satellites. It would therefore not be the right tool to locate Santa's workshop. NASA has also confirmed that the North Pole is difficult to see with satellites, which would help Santa Claus to keep the location of his village a secret.
It should be remembered, however, that the fact that the North Pole is made up of ice floes on the ocean means that the location of the village can change as this ice sheet moves. Not to mention that with climate change, this ice sheet is increasingly unstable and a move should be considered.
More imaginative, scientists from the University of Warwick report that maybe we should look for Santa's workshop in space. They point out that some moons of Jupiter and Saturn are covered in ice and snow and could harbor life, even if their conditions do not seem very hospitable.