“Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.
… out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter …
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.”— excerpt from The Night Before Christmas, 1823 in The Troy Sentinel
24 December 2020
Miniature sleigh? Tiny reindeer? A human-sized Santa Claus needs a normal sleigh and full-sized reindeer to pull it. Just two reindeer take up a lot of space.
Imagine eight of these!
Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), called caribou in North America, range in size from 5.3 to 7 feet long. Males weigh 350 – 400 lbs, females weigh 180 – 260 lbs. Both sexes have antlers though at different times of year.
These are not small animals. Eight full-sized reindeer and a full-sized sleigh would damage any house they landed on. Santa really needs tiny reindeer. Perhaps he went to Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole, to get them.
Like other island species the reindeer on Svalbard have evolved to a smaller size. If you need small reindeer they’re the smallest on Earth, only 50-60% the size of other caribou.
It’s safe for Santa to come tonight.
(photos from Wikimedia Commons; click on the captions to see the originals)