# Santa's wild ride

Everyone's favourite bearded gift-giver is preparing to take flight to bring gifts to all the good boys and girls this Christmas. But what exactly will it take for Santa to keep his promise to deliver the goods? We crunch the numbers to determine what the man in the red suit is up against.

## Saint Nick’s Wild Ride: Measuring Santa’s Activity on Christmas Day

Everyone’s favorite bearded gift-giver is preparing to take flight to bring gifts to all the good boys and girls this Christmas. But what exactly will it take for Santa to keep his promise to deliver the goods? We crunch the numbers to determine what Santa Claus and his reindeer are up against.

### All My Children

Number of children receiving gifts*: 378 million
Total number of homes visited**: 91.8 million
Number of homes visited per second: 822.6

*Assuming 15% of the 2 billion children under age 18 live in the Christian world.
**Assuming an average 3.5 children per household, and at least one of whom was “good” this year.

### Frequent Flier

Distance Santa must travel: 75.5 million miles***
Time allotted to deliver all gifts: 31 hours†
Speed at which he must travel to deliver all gifts in the allotted amount of time.
- 650 miles per second
or
- 3,000 times the speed of sound

Time Santa will have at each house to stop his sleigh, slide down the chimney, fill stockings, put gifts under the tree, eat the snacks left for him, climb back up the chimney, and get back in his sleigh: 1/823 of a second

***Assuming all visited households are evenly dispersed throughout the globe.
†Accounting for the different time zones and rotation of the earth, if he travels east to west.

### Heavyweights

Weight of the sleigh and reindeer: 353,430 tons

Number of reindeer needed to pull the load: 214,200, assuming the average flying reindeer can pull 10 times more than a reindeer on land (300 pounds).

Reindeer: 32,130 tons, assuming each reindeer weighs 300 pounds

### Full Throttle

Without any exterior protection, at such high speeds, Santa’s lead reindeer would absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy.

Time it would take for all the reindeer to burn up in the atmosphere: 4.26 thousandths of a second

Santa himself would experience centrifugal forces 17,500 times greater than gravity, pinning him to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

Source:
http://www.daclarke.org/Humour/santa.html