Do You Believe in Santa?

We are at the time of the year of Christmas, gifts, lights, snow, parties, and santa lies. Do you believe in santa? Here is something for you to ponder…

“Santa Claus-An Engineer’s Perspective”

There are approximately two billion children under the age of 18 in the world. However since Santa doesn’t visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million. At an average of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

Santa has about 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 967.7 visits per second.

This is to say, that Sata has around 1/100th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh, and get on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth, we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a toatl trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second-3,000 times the speed of sound. For comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second and a conventional reindeer can run at best 15 miles per hour.

The load of the sleigh adds another interesting dimension. Assuming that each shild gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set ( 2 lbs.), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land a reindeer can pull 300 pounds max. Even granting that the “flying” reindeer could pull ten times that amount, the job couldn’t be done with eight or nine-Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the load not counting the weight of the sleigh another 54,000 tons ( roughly the weight of the ship Queen Elizabeth).

600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates 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 absorf 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burtst into flames instantaneously, esposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake, 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 matters since Santa as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 miles per second in .001 seconds, would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 g’s. A 250 pound Santa (which seems slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

Therefore, if Santa did exist, he is dead now.

Hmm…what are you thinking?


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