HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014


Scientists decode why Rudolph has a red nose
Paris, December 18, 2012
First Published: 13:24 IST(18/12/2012)
Last Updated: 13:34 IST(18/12/2012)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer's snout has been immortalised in movies, books and songs.

But until now, no-one has offered a scientific explanation for the glow that allows the world's most famous antlered herbivore to guide Santa's sleigh through the night before Christmas.

In a study released on Monday, researchers in the Netherlands and Norway used a hand-held microscope to examine the nasal lining of five healthy humans, two reindeer and a sixth person with a non-cancerous nasal growth.

Reindeer noses have 25% more blood vessels than human noses, according to the tongue-in-cheek investigation, published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in its Christmas edition.

The tiny blood vessels provide plentiful oxygen-carrying cells and help control the body's temperature, showed their findings, which were backed by an infrared image of a reindeer after exercise.

"Rudolph's nose is red because it is richly supplied with red blood cells, comprises a highly dense microcirculation, and is anatomically and physiologically adapted for reindeer to carry out their flying duties for Santa Claus," the paper observes.

Rudolph's round-the-world feat has been closely scrutinised by physicists.

In order to deliver presents to children in around 100 million homes where the Santa tradition is observed, he would have to travel at around 1,000 kilometres (650 miles) per second, they estimate.

At such speeds, the reindeer, Santa and the sleigh would be vaporised by friction with the air, along with the gifts and any little elvish helpers who came along for the ride.

Rudolph would need to deploy an ion shield to protect them, or exploit loopholes in the space-time continuum so that they travelled between dimensions in order to deliver the presents on time.

comment Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of
blog comments powered by Disqus
The app has overtaken the internet
Consumers now spend more time consuming digital content via smartphone and tablet apps than they do via surfing the web -- either on a handset or on the desktop.
Microsoft to unveil new Windows software: report
A news report out Thursday indicated that Microsoft is poised to give the world a glimpse at a new-generation computer operating system that will succeed Windows 8.
Google updates its Voice Search app
Google has recently updates its Voice Search app, which will now support more than one language at a time.
Kuddle: social media with a safety net
A new photo-sharing app aimed at children attempts to offer all of the fun and interaction of sites like Instagram but without any of social media's negative aspects.
Facebook Messenger downloaded over 500 mn times: Report
Although it initially faced backlash by people, the new Facebook Messenger app has been downloaded over 500 million times on Android-based devices, reports Google Play Store.
Let's connect: check out these cool apps
Snapchat in talks to expand services: Report
Snapchat Inc, developer of a mobile app that lets users send messages that disappear within seconds, might expand its service to videos, news articles and advertisements, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
Apps put fitness fans through short, sharp workouts
Fitness buffs who can't make it to the gym but still want to exercise can turn to apps for a short, intense workout when they are pressed for time.
group of people
App turns smartphone into spy gadget
Researchers from Stanford University with Israeli defence firm Rafael have developed an Android app called Gyrophone that picks up vibrations of sound by using vibrating pressure plates in the phone's gyroscope.
Kid with smartphone
App to make sure kids answer phone call
Kids who constantly ignore their parents' phone calls will hate this app. For parents, this is a blessing in disguise. A new app called "Ignore No More" allows parents to make sure their kids call them back.
Cyber crime
Software that prevents cyber attacks
To prevent cyber attack software from capturing vulnerable servers, scientists have developed a free defence software that can inhibit the identification of systems by such programmes.
more »
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved