Tired of your job this Christmas? Already counting the number of sleeps before you break up? While, for some, this time of year might be more of a quiet time at work, full of Christmas parties and ‘Secret Santa’, spare a thought for the real Father Christmas – this is his busiest time of the year! Here at Zoek, we wanted to find out just how busy Father Christmas’ job was at this time of year and just how hard he would have to work to deliver all the presents to all the ‘nice’ children across the world. Unfortunately, after a few hours of prolific ‘Googling’, our heads (and calculators) hurt as we tried to get to grips with just how Father Christmas managed to travel more than 3,000 times the speed of sound and even change the laws of physics to deliver presents to the 1.9 billion children all over the world. We decided that enough boffins had probably already poured over this subject enough, so we thought we’d just trawl through some of the interesting statistics that they’d already come up with to prove just how hard Saint Nick’s, Santa Claus’, Kris Kringle’s (call him what you will) job really is at this time of year. This is how we got on…
According to research by people far cleverer than ourselves, because of the constant rotation of the Earth and assuming he is flying from East to West (in the same direction of rotation), Father Christmas will have seven extra hours to deliver his presents, therefore giving him a whole 31 hours instead of the usual 24. They also estimate that, as not all children across the world celebrate Christmas, the approximately 1.9 billion children can be scaled down to around 378 million. Also, given that there are around three-and-a-half children per household in the world, Father Christmas would need to make nearly 92 million house calls before Christmas Day, assuming all those children have been good! Assuming he has 31 hours, the experts reckon that jolly ol’ Father Christmas would need to make nearly 823 home visits per second in order to deliver all his presents. However, his visits would be ‘fleeting’ to say the least with only around one thousandth of a second of time to spend at each house – meaning he’d really have to bolt all the 90 million or so glasses of sherry and mince pies!
OK, so he’s got a bit longer than your average day to deliver all his presents, so he should be able to travel at a leisurely pace right??…Wrong! According to more geeky calculations, Father Christmas’ sleigh would need to travel at around 650 miles per second or around 2.34 million miles per hour, some 3,000 times the speed of sound or 0.35% of the speed of light – pretty fast, in other words. Most of us feel that our jobs ‘age’ us in some way but Father Christmas seems to have found the answer to eternal youth as due to travelling at around 3,000 times the speed of sound, he may feel the effects of relativity and something called time ‘dilation’ (yeah, we didn’t know what it was either!). Apparently this would make him age at a slightly slower pace than the rest of us mere mortals back on Earth, which might explain why he never seems to have aged in every photo we see of him.
Father Christmas would have to transport the equivalent weight of just under one Empire State Building on the back of his sleigh or just over 25 Shard buildings – the tallest building in Western Europe. This 320,000 tonne payload is likely to add a bit of ‘drag’ on the sleigh’s engine – namely its eight reindeer! Apparently, on Earth, the average reindeer can pull about 135kg, or nearly twice the healthy weight of the average 6ft man. Therefore, to pull the weight of a fully-laden Christmas sleigh, it needs around 214,200 reindeer – all sounds fine so far… However, due to the speed and the weight of the sleigh, it appears that the front two reindeer (at least) would experience the force of around 13.4 quintillion (or 13.4 million, trillion, trillion) joules of energy every second. It’s clear then that this Christmas malarkey is a bit more complicated than we first thought.
Don’t forget there are loads of other things to think about like whose going to fund the cost of this gargantuan task? Who wraps all the presents and collates all the lists?The moral of this tale is spare a thought for Father Christmas when you are celebrating with family and friends this festive season, and when your mind does switch to searching for your dream job in the New Year, make sure you pick a job search app that gives you the ‘full story’ on your next career.
Spare a thought for Santa
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