Ever wondered how fast Santa’s sleigh actually has to fly on Christmas Eve to deliver all his presents to the millions of children across the world?
Thanks to one mathematician, there’s no need to speculate any further.
Father Christmas’ sleigh would have to go 5,083,000 mph, according to Larry Silverberg, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University.
Popsci interviewed Silverberg, a "Santa specialist." He determined that it would take six “Santa months” to deliver all the presents to the children of the world.
Silverberg explained to Popsci that he figured Santa has to deliver gifts to around 200 million kids who are spread out over 200 million square miles. If every home has two to three children, there are about 75 million homes to visit.
He then calculated that the average distance between the homes is 1.63 miles, which means Santa has to cover 122 million miles in one night.
After calculating the distance, the number of homes and of course knowing how much time Santa has (24 hours) he and his students were able to figure out how fast the sleigh needs to travel on Christmas Eve.
But is it possible?
Surprisingly, Silverberg explained to Popsci that it wasn’t impossible to do since Santa’s sleigh would be traveling 130 times slower than the speed of light, which travels at 300 million meters per second, or 669,600,000 mph.
Since something already moves that fast it’s not impossible, just very difficult.
Silverberg and his students also have an explanation for how Santa is able to deliver all the presents in one night: "relativity clouds."
This means Santa can stretch time like a “rubber band,” so what seems like just a few minutes to everyone else is actually six months for Santa, the site said.
“While I don’t know much about relativity clouds myself, I think it’s very possible that a man who flies in a sleigh, lives with elves, and has flying pet reindeer could have the technology needed to utilize relativity clouds," Danny Maruyama, a doctoral candidate researching systems physics at the University of Michigan, told Popsci.