To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Expert reveals how Santa could deliver gifts around the world in one night

Expert reveals how Santa could deliver gifts around the world in one night

There are five theories as to how Father Christmas travels across the globe in one night

Christmas Day 2023 is officially just a handful of hours away, which means children all over the world are getting ready to leave carrots and a mince pie out for Rudolph and Santa.

With exciting building, many youngsters are guaranteed to be asking their parents the age-old question tonight.

"Mum, how exactly does Father Christmas manage to deliver presents all over the world in just one night?"

"Dad, there aren't enough hours in the day to visit every single house, is there?"

These childhood concerns have lingered on for thousands of years, with many scientists across the globe still being perplexed as to HOW old St Nick really does work his magic in the dead of the night.

For example, Dr Andrew Brown - a professor at Queen's University in Belfast - has opted to study the laws of physics in order to determine the most likely way that Santa travels the entirety of the globe in one night (you can track him here).

He has this year outlined five theories for Metro that could answer this long standing question, the first being based on the concept of a 'present canon'.

How does Santa deliver all his gifts on Christmas night?
Getty/Per Breiehagan

By this logic, if all the two billion children in the world were to line up, this would stretch to one million kilometres long, which would wrap around the equator about 25 times.

If this line is straight, Santa would have to be doing over 25,000mph to get from one end of the line to the other in 24 hours, and would be forced to launch presents from either side of his sleigh as he goes.

The major issue with this theory is, however, that you'll likely struggle to catch your gift if Father Christmas is travelling 25 times faster than the speed of light.

It's like that the big red man would need some technological help, which is where the idea of a Christmas canon comes in.

However, the highest muzzle velocity of any commercially available weapon is about 3,000mph, so even that would be too slow.

Some believe Santa must travel through time.

Theory no. 2 - also known as the 'Einstein Theory' - suggests that if Father Christmas was travelling at the speed of light, space would actually contract.

This means that very large distances would become very small distances, which would, in turn, shrink that line of children down to a more achievable distance.

The issue with this theory is, however, that you travel close to the speed of light, your mass increases - a.k.a, you become heavier - as a result.

Therefore, if he is travelling at 25,000mph, he'll be experiencing 1000 G-forces, which is far speedier than the body can cope with, meaning he'll likely implode...

A much less graphic means of delivering all his gifts is via time travel.

Theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre found some years back that it is theoretically possible to construct something like the warp drive that they have in Star Trek in order to distort the space around the sleigh.

There are several theories as to how Santa manages to deliver all of his gifts.

Despite this allowing Santa to travel at an arbitrarily high speed relative to the Earth within his sleigh without experiencing mass increase, he would face the issue of time travel requiring negative energy.

To do this, he'd have to reduce the energy of empty space to below zero, but we unfortunately haven’t found a way of doing this yet.

But quantum time travel - theory no. 4 - does permit you travel without needing negative energy, as you can stop or reverse the arrow of time in the same way that, when you look at small systems, you can make them move backwards.

The issue is, however, that once the laws of thermodynamics kick in, the whole thing breaks down because you can't heat up a cold coffee back up again without using energy.

Some believe Santa must use nanotechnology to deliver his presents.
Per Breiehagan/Getty

The final theory is known as the The Von Neumann Theory, which rules that you'd send out one spacecraft, which finds a distant galaxy, and uses the raw materials it finds there to construct another space probe.

So, by creating a Von Neumann sleigh, Santa can send out seven sleighs, one for each continent, and when they are there, they use the materials they find to construct another using nanotechnology, multiplying until there are lots and lots of sleighs.

Fancy trying to explain all this to your kids, then?

Featured Image Credit: Jose Luis Pelaez/Tijana87/Getty Images

Topics: Christmas, Science, Parenting