Santa’s Fuel Bill - see how we calculated it!
Every year, Father Christmas completes an incredible journey, delivering presents to every country in the world in a single night. And while some people are happy to put this miraculous feat down to Christmas magic, we know that nobody gets anywhere without a bit of fuel in their tank – not even Santa.
We set out to calculate just how much it would take to propel Santa around the globe, assuming he used good old-fashioned jet fuel, rather than the preposterous “flying reindeer” theory. Along the way, we also figured out how many mince pies he nibbles on, how much brandy he sips, how much his sack of presents is worth, and more.
You can check out our findings on our infographic below – and now, here’s how we figured it all out.
How much does Santa and his sleigh weigh?
First, we need to figure out the weight of Santa, his sleigh and his reindeer. Using information from the venerable NORAD, which has been tracking Santa since 1955, we estimate the weight of Father Christmas himself at 118kg.
His sleigh adds another 250kg, while his eight reindeer at an average of 125kg each come to 1,000kg.
All in all, this brings Santa, his vehicle and his antlered entourage to a healthy 1,368kg. But what about the weight of all the presents?
After checking the weights of five popular Christmas toys for 2017, we determined that the average present comes in at just under a kilo (981g). If he’s carrying one present for each of the world’s 2.27 billion children, that brings the total cargo weight in at 2.2 million tonnes.
We also figured out the combined cost of all these presents at £294.9 billion – let’s hope that red suit has deep pockets.
Clearly, Santa’s not flying anywhere carrying this load, so we have to assume he carries the presents around in a magical, weightless and infinitely large sack. This is good news for his fuel bill (again, reindeers can’t fly – that’s just ridiculous).
How much fuel does the journey take?
Now we’ve established Santa’s weight, we need to look at the distance he travels. The Daily Telegraph worked his world-spanning overnight journey to be 342.5 million kilometres - and we see no reason to doubt them, so now we need to calculate his festive fuel costs.
A Boeing 747 weighs 183,500kg and burns approximately 12 litres of fuel per kilometre. With a festive disregard for the laws of aerodynamics, we factored in the weight of Santa and his sleigh to estimate that he uses up a total of 30.6 million litres of jet fuel on Christmas Eve - an amount that would set him back a not-so-jolly £11.1 million at the latest prices!
How much does he eat and drink?
If we assume each household leaves out one mince pie and one shot of brandy for Saint Nick, then at 289 calories each the jolly old elf consumes 635.8 billion calories in spiced pastries alone on his overnight journey - that’s about equal to 106 million Christmas dinners. And Santa may need to watch his booze consumption, too: all those shots add up to 55 million litres of brandy, enough to fill 22 Olympic-size swimming pools. No wonder his nose is red…
We hope you enjoyed our festive factsheet, and all of us at Certas Energy wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.