Is There a Santa?
1. Santa's Workload
There are two billion children in the world, but since Santa doesn't appear to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, and Budist children, that reduces his workload to 15% of the total, or 300 million. At an average rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 85.7 million homes. Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different times zones and the rotation of the Earth, assuming he travels East to West. This works out to 767.9 visits per second. So for each household with good children, Santa has about 1/1,000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the presents, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, into the sleigh and move on to the next house."
2. The Time/Distance Factor
Assuming that these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the Earth, we're talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles.
3. Calculation of Estimated Speed
This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, or 3,000 times the speed of sound.
4. Santa's Payload
Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-size Lego set (about two pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as "heavy." On land, normal reindeer could pull no more than 300 pounds, and even granting that flying reindeer could pull 10 times the normal amount, Santa's going to need 214,200 reindeer to pull his sleigh. This increases the payload to 353,430 tons, or four times the weight of the "Queen Elizabeth."
A craft of 353,000 tons, traveling at 650 miles per second, creates enormous air resistance. This will heat up Mr. Claus and his sleigh like a spacecraft reentering Earth's atmosphere.
If there is a Santa, he's toast.
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