# Santa Claus Travelling Speed

• Arch Enemy
In summary, a question was posed about Santa Claus potentially being able to travel to every house in the world in one night. However, due to the impossibility of knowing the exact location of every house and the logistics of delivering presents to millions of homes in a short amount of time, it is nearly impossible to determine the speed at which Santa would have to travel. Additionally, even if we assume he could travel at a speed faster than the speed of light, the physics and logistics of such a journey would make it impossible for him to do so. Therefore, the existence of Santa Claus delivering presents on Christmas Eve is highly unlikely.

#### Arch Enemy

Not sure where to post this, but i'll try here.

This is a serious question.

If Santa Claus existed, and could travel at any speed, what speed would he have to travel at to get to every house in the world in one night? say night lasts 15 hours...

It was my friend who asked me this, tongue in cheek, but there is so many problems with it and it got me thinking. Any ideas?

Unless you can tell me where every house is in the world, there's no way of telling. And even if you did, it's still a very difficult problem to solve and one that probably couldn't be explained.

Faster than the speed of light, that is for sure.

From an old post on another site: I saved the content but not, to my chagrin, the original source. I will leave further comments to the physicists.

Is there a Santa Claus?

Consider the following:

1) No known species of reindeer can fly. But there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. 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, 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.

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 poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight.

On land, conventional 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.

5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft 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 no longer doing it.

Hahaha that was a good read :rofl:

However, I don't quite understand where this centrifugal force calculation is coming from though. What exactly is being assumed here?

By the way, from the calculations taken for the average distance between each household and time needed to jump between each, assuming santa accelerates at a constant rate for half the journey between each house, then decelerates at the same rate - he will be feeling about 350 million G's, in both forward and backward directions. Seatbelts anyone? He will be hitting twice the calculated speed as well in the middle of his journey, 1300 miles/sec.