Santa's Big Night: A Christ-Math Miracle

He's making a list, he's checking it twice, he's gonna find out who's naughty or nice. You know who I'm talking about...and he's coming to town pretty soon. The world is a big place, but thanks to a little bit of magic, he can make it through all in one night. Just so you appreciate what he does, here's the math behind Santa's big night.

Jolly Old Saint Nick would have to pull off quite a miracle to make it to deliver all of the presents in one night. There are about 7.4 billion people living on the Earth right now, and about 2 billion of those people celebrate Christmas each year. Assuming that these people are in families of about 3.52 individuals (based on the average household size from the five largest countries by population), and that he respects the wishes of those who do not take part in Christmas, he would have to visit 568 million houses.

The Earth is a sphere with a diameter of 6.371 million meters, meaning that it has a surface area of 510 million square kilometers. Considering that about 71 percent of that surface is covered by water, and over 14 million square kilometers can be attributed to uninhabitable areas such as Antarctica, Santa would have to cover about 148 million square kilometers, assuming the houses are evenly distributed over the habitable area.

If the big guy started his night in the Eastern Hemisphere, where the sun sets around 6:45 PM on Christmas Eve, and ended his night in the Western Hemisphere where the sun rises at 7:00 AM on Christmas morning, he would have 12 hours and 15 minutes, plus the 16 hour difference in time zones, meaning he would have a total of 28 hours and 15 minutes of darkness to deliver presents.

The standard legend on Santa Claus states that he lands his sled on the roof, climbs down the chimney, and sets presents (or coal) under the tree while eating milk and cookies provided by the family. The current world record for fastest time to eat a cookie is 8.80 seconds, so if a family puts out four cookies, Saint Nick would be there for at least 35.2 seconds. Assuming he could also match the speed of the record for a 20-foot rope climb, it would take 2.8 seconds to get back onto the roof. This means he would spend a total of 38 seconds at each house.

38 seconds at each house would require 5.99 million hours. To travel between houses, the fastest man-made form of flight would be able to move Father Christmas at 980 meters per second. This means that he could cover the entire inhabitable surface in 42,806 hours. The total trip would require 6.03 million hours. Since Santa must finish the job in 28 hours and 15 minutes, he must move more than 213,550 times faster than the limits of human achievement.

It is not difficult to see why so many people have an issue believing in a being who could do it all in one night. But let's be real, parents wouldn't have much of a better chance at doing that all in one night, either!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.


From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments