NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > Does Santa Claus exist?
December 22, 2010, 07:46 AM
I've heard both sides:
- No. It's the parents.
- Yes. Where do all those presents come from?

There doesn't seem to be much proof either way.
- The physics 'against' is quite damning.
- The evidence 'for' is very convincing.
December 22, 2010  07:49 AM ET

The physics against:

There are roughly 378 million children in the world - of a religion that would allow for a Santa Claus. At an average rate of 3.5 children per household that comes to 108 million homes - presuming there is at least one good child in each.

Assuming he travels east to west, Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with - thanks to time zones and the rotation of the earth. This works out to 967.7 visits per second. So Santa has just a little more than 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute presents under the tree, eat the cookies, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and move on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which is not the case), there would be about 0.78 miles per household - a total trip of 75.5 million miles. This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, or over 3,000 times the speed of sound. Conventional Reindeer can run, at best, 50 miles per hour.

No known species of Reindeer can fly.

Assuming each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons (not counting Santa himself). On land, a conventional Reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that 'flying' Reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons.

650 miles per second at sea level would create enormous air resistance. This would heat up the Reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of Reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the Reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms. The entire Reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip. Not that it would matter. Santa, as a result of accelerating from 0 to 650 mps in .001 seconds, would be subjected to forces of 17,500 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

Even the most durable Santa would probably not survive.

December 22, 2010  07:50 AM ET

The evidence for:

As a kid, I would go to bed on Christmas Eve with presents under the tree and an empty stocking. When I woke up Christmas morning, there were more presents under the tree and my stocking was full.

Schoolmates and friends claimed similar experiences.

I never once heard my parents moving about in the house - and I slept very lightly on Christmas Eve!

December 22, 2010  08:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

So Santa has just a little more than 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute presents under the tree, eat the cookies, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and move on to the next house.

Maybe he only eats the cookies at every other house. That would help.

December 22, 2010  03:24 PM ET

Yes, Virgin, Santa Claus does exist....
;)

December 22, 2010  03:26 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

The physics against:There are roughly 378 million children in the world - of a religion that would allow for a Santa Claus. At an average rate of 3.5 children per household that comes to 108 million homes - presuming there is at least one good child in each. Assuming he travels east to west, Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with - thanks to time zones and the rotation of the earth. This works out to 967.7 visits per second. So Santa has just a little more than 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute presents under the tree, eat the cookies, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and move on to the next house.Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which is not the case), there would be about 0.78 miles per household - a total trip of 75.5 million miles. This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, or over 3,000 times the speed of sound. Conventional Reindeer can run, at best, 50 miles per hour.No known species of Reindeer can fly.Assuming each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons (not counting Santa himself). On land, a conventional Reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that 'flying' Reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons.650 miles per second at sea level would create enormous air resistance. This would heat up the Reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of Reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the Reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms. The entire Reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip. Not that it would matter. Santa, as a result of accelerating from 0 to 650 mps in .001 seconds, would be subjected to forces of 17,500 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force. Even the most durable Santa would probably not survive.

Oh ye of little faith.....some things you just gotta believe.....

December 22, 2010  03:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

The physics against:

And you have WAY too much time on your hands

December 22, 2010  03:31 PM ET

Well the tooth fairy better be for real,, i dont think i will be able to live on social security alone.

December 22, 2010  10:15 PM ET

SANTA DOES EXIST. Man...what is with you adults!??

December 22, 2010  10:22 PM ET

In all seriousness, I go to a college that is VERY LIBERAL and PC. These colleagues of mine took issue with Santa discussions in school. I decided to take issue with them. Their argument was that kids need to know the truth, so we might as well tell them. I asked the one very PC liberal chick "Why does a five year old believing in Santa bother you so much? Have you ever seen a kid's face light up when 'Santa' answered his letter? Why are you being a scrooge? My kids talk about all the holidays this time of year. If they want to believe in santa, so what?"
She says "well, i just don't think it's appropriate to let kids believe in false
hoods. Why lie to them?"

I said.... "Why crush their spirit? For some kids, Santa's presents are all they have."

She shut up.

December 23, 2010  09:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Their argument was that kids need to know the truth, so we might as well tell them

Interesting.
So she thinks kids need to know the truth about what?

And if we have to tell kids the 'truth' then why are we lying to them in the first place?

December 23, 2010  09:34 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

SANTA DOES EXIST. Man...what is with you adults!??

Still hear that sleigh bell tinkling, too?

This chick never had kids, did she? The whole Santa thing is very, very charming with the kids. Their faces light up! No one has ever been scarred emotionally when they learn the truth because Santa represents an ideal, of hope, and a spirit of giving & generosity, love and family. Even kids in the 7-8-9 year range that start to figure things out on their own GET that.

December 23, 2010  09:34 AM ET
QUOTE:

I've heard both sides:- No. It's the parents.- Yes. Where do all those presents come from?There doesn't seem to be much proof either way. - The physics 'against' is quite damning.- The evidence 'for' is very convincing.

Have you checked Andy Staples Fantastical Beings Power Rankings? I think Santa was #1 last week, but the Great Pumpkin was a strong #2.

December 23, 2010  09:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Have you checked Andy Staples Fantastical Beings Power Rankings? I think Santa was #1 last week, but the Great Pumpkin was a strong #2.

I heard the Easter Bunny was getting a new Head Coach - and a new Strength/Conditioning Coach with him.



Santa and tGP better check their rear view mirror.

December 23, 2010  09:53 AM ET

The memories of your kids waking up on Christmas morning to magical, Oh-My-Gosh moments are one of the things that make parenting such a kick. Even with my older kids, it's still like Grue says - it's the idea of giving, family togetherness and love that you see from them on Christmas morning that makes all the late nights putting toys/trains/bikes together worthwhile.

December 23, 2010  12:36 PM ET

Blasphemy!

December 23, 2010  01:34 PM ET

Santa and the National Championship have a lot in common ...

December 23, 2010  03:08 PM ET

If Santa didn't exist we'd invent him. We have kept this legend alive for centuries, and I don't see it dying any time soon.

December 23, 2010  06:03 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Santa and the National Championship have a lot in common ...

You need to reside in a BCS Conference for Santa to acknowledge you exist?

December 23, 2010  06:23 PM ET

I just don't see the harm in believing in Santa Clause. I challenge people to visit the Italian Home in Boston for kids whose behavior is too severe to be in public. Or visit the ICU ward of the Children's Hospital and watch what happens when Santa comes in.

What a bunch of scrooges.

 
December 24, 2010  01:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

What a bunch of scrooges

(Scrooge)-"Why do you walk the earth? Why'd you come to persecute me? and whats that great chain you wear"?

(The ghost of Jacob Marley)- "I wear the chain I forged in life, I made it link by link and yard by yard while on Earth, and now i will never be rid of it,, any more than you will ever be rid of yours Ebenezer Scrooge".

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