As we all know, Christmas brings with it plenty of festive traditions, and one of the most eagerly anticipated ones (at least by children around the world) is Santa Claus taking his sleigh all over the world on Christmas Eve to deliver presents.

But how does this seemingly impossible feat get done every year? Here we take a look at some of the incredible science that makes it all happen, and include some impressive trivia about the most exciting holiday of the year.

  • Santa’s journey around the world covers more than 500 million kilometres. For just one night, this sounds impossible, but remember that different time zones around the world give him some extra time. He’ll have 32 full hours to make the journey.
  • Given the numbers above, Santa’s sleigh will typically be travelling at almost 2000 miles per second. This may sound fast, but of course his magic reindeer are more than capable of keeping up their speed.
  • Based on the average weight of the most popular toys each year, Santa’s sleigh will most likely be loaded up with around 2 million tonnes of gifts.
  • The technology used to keep Santa’s sleigh moving is unknown, but we can assume it makes use of developments the rest of the world is yet to match. All known fuels would be too expensive for use on a trip like this.
  • In addition to the sleigh, even if it does have the capacity to fly itself, the accompanying reindeer are also capable of flight. People have suggested various theories to explain this, including that their antlers are inter-dimensional travel devices.
  • The science behind gift giving has also been explored by scientists, because it seems counter-intuitive for animals with a selfish survival instinct to be generous. It’s all connected to the principle of positive actions having benefits in the future, even if they seem to be unconnected. If everyone gives gifts, everyone will receive them, which is a positive result even in scientific terms.