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Rate this Entry Engineer's Perspective.

Posted 12-25-2011 at 12:54 AM by ISKRA
To my fellow engineers out there!

"Santa Claus:An Engineers Perspective

I. There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau).
At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per house hold, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

II. Santa has about 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 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means 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, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

III. The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the "flying" reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them--- Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

IV. 600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance --- this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake.

The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.

Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accellerating from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now."
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  1. Old
    TPickles's Avatar
    bah humbug
    Posted 12-30-2011 at 09:26 PM by TPickles TPickles is offline
  2. Old
    Panda's Avatar
    You didn't account for the Christmas magic, this is invalid.
    Posted 12-30-2011 at 09:32 PM by Panda Panda is offline
  3. Old
    ballin914's Avatar
    i got lost after the first paragraph lol
    Posted 12-30-2011 at 10:18 PM by ballin914 ballin914 is offline
  4. Old
    Big Teddy's Avatar
    christmas magic? hes obviously a wizard!
    Posted 12-30-2011 at 10:19 PM by Big Teddy Big Teddy is offline
  5. Old
    Flenner's Avatar
    ....he's the Dovahkiin
    Posted 12-30-2011 at 10:51 PM by Flenner Flenner is offline
  6. Old
    Brenden45424's Avatar
    LAWL +10000000 to Flenner for that. Skyrim ftw btw.

    I was the dovahkin, then I took an arrow to the knee....

    anywayy back on subject. I think panda nailed it.
    Posted 12-31-2011 at 12:11 AM by Brenden45424 Brenden45424 is offline
  7. Old
    thereaper214's Avatar
    I just lost it. Made me cry.
    Posted 12-31-2011 at 12:39 AM by thereaper214 thereaper214 is offline
  8. Old
    IRONMAN's Avatar
    Interesting and pretty mind blowing I must say...
    Posted 12-31-2011 at 03:44 AM by IRONMAN IRONMAN is offline
  9. Old
    jonahm740's Avatar
    Carl I am in tears reading this.
    Posted 12-31-2011 at 11:24 AM by jonahm740 jonahm740 is offline
  10. Old
    jdizzle921's Avatar
    Rudolph does steroids, thus equaling the strength of over 9000 reindeer. Re-do the calculations with those numbers.

    Posted 01-01-2012 at 03:29 AM by jdizzle921 jdizzle921 is offline
  11. Old
    Sunshine's Avatar
    JD.....You're jewish, what do you care?
    Posted 01-01-2012 at 04:25 PM by Sunshine Sunshine is offline
  12. Old
    Warpig07's Avatar
    my drafting teacher showed us this. i laughed
    Posted 01-01-2012 at 07:52 PM by Warpig07 Warpig07 is offline
  13. Old
    wyattcravatas's Avatar
    Santa is uber high speed low drag.
    Posted 01-04-2012 at 02:33 PM by wyattcravatas wyattcravatas is offline
    Updated 01-04-2012 at 02:39 PM by wyattcravatas
  14. Old
    J.T.V.B's Avatar
    at those amount of instant g forces he would not be a pink goo due to the fact at such force the basic elements makin gup santa would have a good chance of seperating turning him into mainly carbon and the amount of wind friction may produce enough heat to rebond the carbon into a mutilated santa shaped diamond at a roughly 87% volume loss
    Posted 01-04-2012 at 11:26 PM by J.T.V.B J.T.V.B is offline
  15. Old
    armyus516's Avatar
    And now I find out what the pink stuff in my lawn really is.....
    Posted 01-05-2012 at 09:20 PM by armyus516 armyus516 is offline
  16. Old
    Vapor's Avatar
    ...I heard because Santa rocks fast mags he is able to do all of this though?
    Posted 01-05-2012 at 11:06 PM by Vapor Vapor is offline
  17. Old
    OverLord's Avatar
    Like magic... he has the power to freeze time. Now PLEASE claculate how many lbs of cookies he would take in during christmas. Even if you factored just 2 or 3 OZ of food per houseold.
    Posted 01-07-2012 at 02:13 AM by OverLord OverLord is offline
  18. Old
    Klown5ive's Avatar
    I can't believe how much this made me laugh, haha, awesome post this is legendary. Thanks man try to use your time in a more valuable way though. Lol
    Posted 01-10-2012 at 03:08 PM by Klown5ive Klown5ive is offline
  19. Old
    ISKRA's Avatar

    I will average the weight per household so 2.5 oz. 108 million homes. This comes to 270 million oz or 8437.5 short tons.

    Nutritional information from "" then equates to the following total consumption by Mr Santa:

    2.5 ounces = 70.8738078 grams
    1 cookie ~= 12 grams
    5.90615065 cookies per household.
    637864270.2 cookies total, enough to fill the cargo holds, every inch of space, and then stacked 20 high on the deck of a super tanker.

    so Mr Santa ingested:

    34.4 billion Calories
    5166 metric tons of carbohydrates
    1567 metric tons of total fat
    382 metric tons of protein
    956 kilo grams of caffeine, enough to keep an aged man similar to Mr Santa awake for 36.8 years (negating the fact of death, mental disease, and permanent disability).

    For us engineers, this sadly is what goes through out minds in an instant. This is why we sometimes calculate why we have no friends. My mother bought me a shirt that states: "you know you are an engineer when you have no life and can prove it mathematically."

    Thanks Mom.
    Posted 01-10-2012 at 06:23 PM by ISKRA ISKRA is offline
  20. Old
    NH_Nitemare's Avatar
    The answer is simple. Santa runs on magic and fairy dust, therefore I conclude that Santa also invented the automatic transmission. That is how he pays for everything, licensing fees can make you a killing. Santa's toys aren't made in China.
    Posted 01-11-2012 at 02:48 PM by NH_Nitemare NH_Nitemare is offline

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