how far and fast does Santa has to travel?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
You have no idea how long I've been waiting for an excuse to post this:
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 dead now.
- bpiguyLv 71 decade ago
Yeah, I figured this out once, but my calculations are still packed with the Christmas gear.
Anyway, as we all know, he starts & stops at the North Pole. What we might not know is that he has a full 36 hours, and maybe a bit more, to get his job done. He generally makes his deliveries from about 8 p.m. one night until 8 a.m. a day and a half later -- hence the 36 hours -- but he's able to get his first run -- across northern Siberia -- done two or three hours earlier because it's dark very early near the Arctic Circle. Besides, that's close to home, so he returns to base to reload for the big trip.
For his main journey, he begins in New Zealand, just west of the International Date Line. New Zealand and Australia are sort of tricky. The days are long, so parents see to it that the children are nestled snug in their beds well before sundown. The kids are used to it down there, and they follow instructions.
After beginning in the South Pacific, Santa generally follows an "M" (or upside-down "W") pattern as he makes his way around the world. He goes north and south, always heading in an overall westerly direction.
On a globe, you can see his route. From Australia, he island-hops through Indonesia, the Philippines, and up to Japan. Then he crosses to Korea and China, working his way down to Southeast Asia, then over to India by way of Central Asia.
Leaving India, he zooms across the ocean to Madagascar and southern Africa, then swings north through the Middle East, loops through European Russia and Western Europe, exiting from Spain into West Africa.
From there. it's a short jaunt over to Brazil. He goes down the east coast of South America, then up the west coast, jumping from Venezuela to Cuba to Florida. He works his way up the American east coast to Maine and Montreal, then goes diagonally down to Mexico, and up the west coast to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Although he's always tired by the time he gets to B.C. (and so are his reindeer), he's no longer under time pressure. He's also well-fed because of all the cookies and glasses of milk he's consumed along the way.
Northern Canada can be done leisurely just like he did in Siberia. It's always dark there, and his last stops are in Alaska, right up against the International Date Line and just a short distance from home, where he showers because his clothes are all tarnished with ashes and soot.
It's good that this question is posted in the Geography category. I know you know that Hawaii has been left out. Well, Santa knows that too, and that's why he sends out all the Hawaiian presents a couple of weeks early, via UPS.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
Santa travels in another dimensionSource(s): Im Santa
- Anonymous1 decade ago
if santa would have to bring presents to every household, he would have to travel at the speed of light.
- JustinfireLv 41 decade ago
550 mp on air with U.S. army support.
- Phil21Lv 53 years ago
he uses a computer now, we takes the food and drink magically and leaves presents.