Sheeple Files
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 Some interesting facts about Santa Claus, complements of the skeptic’s dictionary at


1). There is but only one species of reindeer and it definitely can NOT fly! BUT there are perhaps several hundred thousand species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and microorganisms, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

(2). There are 2 billion children (persons under the age of 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Shinto, Buddhist, Muslim, Taoist, Hindu, Jewish, Animist, Pagan, Atheist and Agnostic children, not to mention the bah-humbug non-Santa believers. That reduces his workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference of the Census Bureau of 2000. 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.

(3). 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,...well good enough.., Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, 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 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc. Whew!

This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 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 pokey 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour

(4). Now consider the huge load in the sleigh! Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (almost 1 kg or 2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, non-flying reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see 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. 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 the 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. Any takers for the job?

"When you understand why YOU dismiss all the other gods, you will understand why I DISMISS yours"