Could science help Santa deliver all his presents?
Most attempts to solve this problem assume that Santa must zig-zag around the world in just 24 hours (or 32, if he exploits international time zones). Inevitably this means Santa would need some physics-defying technology, such as a faster-than-light warp drive for his sleigh. But really, distance isn’t the main problem; it’s the number of deliveries. Estimates vary regarding the number of households worldwide that celebrate Christmas, but Santa probably delivers to between 200 and 700 million children, which means at least 1,700 deliveries every second. The only way he can pull this off is by delivering multiple presents at a time. If Santa operates from a polar orbit in space, rather than criss-crossing the sky, he can easily fly over the entire planet in 24 hours as it rotates beneath him and he wouldn’t even need to break the laws of physics. The presents can be delivered in batches, using repurposed ‘Multiple Independently targetable Re-entry Vehicle’ (MIRV) missiles, left over from the Cold War. As each warhead closes in on a neighbourhood, it splits open to release hundreds of quadcopter drones that simultaneously fly off to different houses and deliver a single present each.