I've got it all figured out.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ask the Magic Internet a Stupid Question No. 0019

Christmas is almost here and you know I’ve been thinking a lot about Santa. When I was little I was pretty obsessed with Santa Claus. I remember I used to set up elaborate traps on Christmas Eve to catch him. I don’t really know why. I think I just wanted to see him. I suppose I regarded Santa Claus as being akin to E.T. or Bigfoot.

I never did catch Santa and my parents told me that if I did I wouldn’t get any presents and neither would any other kids. So I eventually abandoned my Trap Santa initiative and moved on to obtaining Santa’s Autograph. For several years each Christmas I would draft up this strange document on lined paper with Santa’s name and the names of all his Reindeer. Next to the names I’d have lines for them all to sign their autographs on. Yes, even the reindeer. I’d put this piece of paper next to the milk, cookies and carrots that I used to leave out on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning I’d wake up to find the milk and cookies gone, the carrot nubs out on the back lawn and my autograph document signed by Santa along with 9 little hoof prints. I think one year I even asked for a nose print from Rudolph. (I bet my folks wished I’d go back to trying to trap Santa after that one.) I guess I went from thinking of Santa as a mythical creature to some sort of celebrity. Kind of like Paris Hilton.

Mommy! Daddy! Santa was here! Santa was here!

I don’t remember when I stopped really believing in Santa Claus. I guess it was when I started taking a more realistic, cynical view of the world in general. But what if Santa was real? How could he bring joy to all those kids in just one night? Is it even scientifically or mathematically possible? He’d have to be faster than Google! Hey, that gives me an idea. Why don’t we ask the Magic Internet?

Question 19: What would happen if Santa Claus was real?

While it’s revving up, please enjoy Count Floyd singing Reggae Christmas in Transylvania.

Magic Internet Answer: Ah yes, Santa Clause. Formerly Saint Nicholas, your obese annual gift man. I won’t make the pretension of comprehension in regards to your human infants’ belief in such a creature but the internet does contain a vast amount of data regarding Santa Clause.

Some of it you would be better off not knowing about.

What I believe you are asking of me is that I suspend disbelief of the existence of Santa Claus and calculate the probability and outcome of his annual task. Well that I can do. Let us first look at the task its self. Let us assume that this Santa Clause only visits the homes of legal children. That is only children under 18.

File Photo: Disqualified.

There are currently approximately 2 billion persons under the age of 18 living on this planet. However those of Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish faiths do not recognize Santa so they can be excluded. This reduces the number of children down to a much more manageable 378 million. Next we must factor in the number of children per household. The current census average is 3.5. Santa only visits the good children but if we take the innocence of youth into account we can assume that each household should contain at least 1 good child. This means that Santa must visit 91.8 million homes. No small feat, especially when he must visit them all in one night. That is what we will look at next. If Santa traverses the globe from east to west to take advantage of the earth’s rotation and time zones he will have 31 hours of Christmas night in which to complete his deliveries. This means Santa must visit 822.6 homes per second. That gives him 1.2 milliseconds to park his sleigh, slide down the chimney, deliver his gifts, eat the cookies and milk left for him (and sign your stupid document) and then move on to the next house. Perhaps he could make up a millisecond here and there visiting apartment blocks but that would definitely be used up for a bathroom break. (Let’s see you eat cookies every 1.2 milliseconds for 31 hours and not have to stop for a shit.)

File Photo: Santa poop.

Of course we are also assuming that each home is an equal distance apart with little to no backtracking. If we factor in ocean crossings that’s about 78 miles per household for a total of 71.6 million total miles to be traveled in a 31 hour period. This means that Santa will need to be traveling at a speed of 650 miles per second. That’s 3,000 times the speed of sound!

Still not fast enough to get me away from the sound of this.

A conventional reindeer can run at an average speed of 15 miles per hour. But Santa’s reindeer can fly. Biologists believe there are still some 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified so we can assume these flying reindeer are some sort of undiscovered species.

Like Bigfoot! God I love this picture.

Let’s turn our attention now to exactly what these flying reindeer will be pulling. If every child on Santa’s list gets an average sized present, say 2 lbs then the reindeer are pulling 321,300 tons of presents plus a sleigh and hefty Santa. A conventional reindeer can pull around 300 lbs and even if this undiscovered species of flying reindeer can pull 10 times that amount 9 reindeer still would not be enough.

What if this guy helped?

That still wouldn’t be enough. Santa would need at least 214,200 of his special flying reindeer to pull his sleigh. This brings us to the scientific outcome of all of this.

214,200 flying reindeer pulling Santa Claus and a sleigh carrying 321,300 tons of gifts attempting to reach a speed of 650 miles per second would face so much air resistance that they would heat up much like a spacecraft reentering the earth’s atmosphere. The resulting friction would cause the chain of reindeer to combust like the wick of a firecracker. Santa and his slay would be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500 times greater than gravity causing him, the sleigh and all the toys to explode instantaneously.

Kind of like this but with more red and green.


Oh well. Who needs Santa Claus when we’ve got you Magic Internet. You always deliver the best presents. Like this:

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