Santa’s Secret


Once a year, Santa Claus sets out from the North Pole to travel around the world, delivering gifts. He has a job that’s massively underestimated because he actually performs the impossible. We did the math for you.

There are around

2 billion children

in the world. That’s an incredible number. Even if you don’t count the non-Christians, there are still some 600 million youngsters on the planet. With an average of 4 children per home, that’s

150 million households.

In our calculation, we assume that each home has at least 2 well-behaved children.

Santa Claus probably travels with the sun, from East to West. Thanks to the different time zones, he has a 31-hour day to complete his deliveries. That makes

2688 visits per second

– quite a feat!

On his journey around the world, Santa Claus has to cover a total distance of

147.9 million kilometers,

so his sleigh will be flying at a speed of 1325 kilometers per second – almost 4000 times the speed of sound.

If each child receiving a toy weighing about one kilo, the sleigh will be carrying

300 000 tons

– not counting our corpulent Santa himself or the reindeer. A reindeer weighs roughly 250 kilos and can pull a load of around 175 kilograms. If we assume that flying reindeer can manage twice that weight, Santa would need 857 142 reindeers, which would bring the total weight of gifts and reindeer up to 514 285 tons.

Moving at

1325 km per second,

a 514 285-ton weight creates enormous air resistance, which would expose the reindeer to the kind of immense heat a space ship encounters as it enters the earth’s atmosphere. The front pair of reindeer alone would have to absorb more than

16  trillion joules.

That’s some heat!


All of this brings us to the following conclusion: During the flight, the entire reindeer team would vaporize within a couple of milliseconds while Santa Claus would be pushed right to the back of his sleigh by an acceleration of 135 000 times the gravitational acceleration.

So does that mean Santa doesn’t exist?

No, it doesn’t!

Because Santa Claus probably uses the idea from quantum physics known as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.


x · ∆ph



In a nutshell: He probably distributes the gifts at the same speed at which an electron circles an atom’s nucleus. Because there is no unit of time to define the location of a body moving so fast, physicists say that the electron “blurs.” In other words, it can be in several places at the same time – and that’s how it is with Santa Claus.

He doesn’t just distribute the gifts, he distributes himself, too. That’s why he can be seen in so many places at the same time.

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