With Christmas Eve fast approaching, Santa must be nearly all loaded up and ready to go. He will have his sleigh ready and his route planned. But just how big a task does he actually have?
There are approximately 1.8 billion children aged under 15 in the world, of which around 630 million are of a religion that celebrates Christmas.
Globally, the average number of children per family is 2.33. This equates to over 270 million homes that Santa has to visit.
Using the UK average of children receiving 16 gifts each, Santa's sleigh would have to carry 10.08 billion parcels.
If we work on the fact that every gift was the size of a small parcel, which according to Royal Mail is 45cm x 35cm x 16cm, they would fill 7.7 million average 20ft shipping containers, enough to fill 400 of the world's largest container ship MSC Oscar.
In terms of weight, if we again use Royal Mail's average weight of a small parcel - 2kg, the total payload of Santa's sleigh at the start of his journey would be 20.16 million tonnes.
Once Santa has loaded his cargo and we work on the fact he has around 31 hours to deliver it all due to time zones and the rotation of the earth, this would mean he would have to visit 2,420 homes per second to be finished on time.
If we assumed that homes were evenly distributed across the land surface area of the globe (which we know is not the case but use it for this calculation), each home would be 0.46 miles apart.
This would mean that, not including times for drop offs, mince pie eating, brandy swigging etc. Santa's reindeer's would have to be travelling at 1,113 miles per second - 5,200 times the speed of sound, to get the job done.
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