REINDEER: Much More Than Christmas! Icons – Fun Facts

Reindeer, besides Rudolph and his red nose and their skills as the sleigh pullers for Santa, what do you know about reindeer? From reflective safety antlers to actual red-nose reindeer, here are the most bizarre things and surprises about reindeer you want to know!

11 The Red-Nose, Mystery!


Do you ever listen to Christmas music? Even when walking at the mall we hear the Rudolph the red nose reindeer song playing somewhere as you shop around, and why does he have a red nose? The invention of the character in 1939 was a marketing campaign for a department store in Chicago. But what inspired the author? Studies now reveal that actually there are reindeer with red noses. Some reindeer have more densely packed blood vessels near the surface of the skin of the nose than others.  The vessels serve to regulate body temperature in the freezing artic environment, and that’s why its red.  Another study suggest that Rudolph actually had parasites on his mucosal passages…. I think he probably had a pimple…. What’s your theory?

10 Non-Freezing Powers!


If you are going to walk on a snowy day what would you need? Besides boots and gloves, a jacket.  and what do animals how live in artic regions do? Besides changing the color of the fur to camouflage, the hair becomes thicker to help with temperature.  But reindeer have a trick up their sleeves… or fur.  In order to heat up they eat moss.  Apparently, it helps them stay warm, like the antifreeze for your car.

9 Santa’s Reindeers Gender Exposed!


What are Santa’s reindeer names? Blitzer, Comet, cupid… They all sound like boy names, right? But what if they are not all boys?  The Poem “A visit from St. Nicholas” was the culprit for the confusion… adult male reindeer shed the antlers a little before Christmas. So, who did that work? The answer is females…. Female reindeer keep their antlers during the winter so they can feed better while pregnant later to shed them in the spring. Which is why the only ones who would have antlers for Santa’s journey would be the females, or castrated males…. I leave you with that dilemma….

8 The Finnish Wins The Pizza!


Pizza, Italy, they go hand in hand.  But what made the Finnish want to win a pizza contest so bad? In 2005, After the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi made fun of the finnish cousine. Saying that all they ate was marinated reindeer, in 2008 there was payback.  The finnish won an international pizza contest. Best part, winning over Italy.  What was the pizza made of? Smoked reindeer and it was called “Pizza Berlusconi”

7 UV-Ray Vision


Have you gone outside on a snowy day and had a really hard time seeing due to the low light conditions or how bright it was from the sun reflecting on the snow?  If you are a reindeer, you wouldn’t have a problem at all.  Artic reindeer can see through all that and more.  Their eye color change with the season, from gold to blue to adapt to their environment.  And with all that snow, how do they find food in the winter? They can see UV light which helps them see predators, who appear black against the snow as well as find lichen and moss, mayor food sources in the winter.  Predators cannot hide from the only mammals who can see UV!!

6 The Santa’s Sleigh And Other Theories


When thinking of Santa claus, what comes to mind?  Typically, besides the presents he brings, you think of the reindeer pulling his sled.  Reindeer also have other names.  In North America, they are called caribou. And, who came up with the idea that Santa had reindeer?  In artic regions, since they were among the first animals to be domesticated and are so strong as to pull their own weight, they are perfect animals to carry all the presents for Santa.

5 Antler Decorations


If you live in the northern states, you will see or hear of deer causing most of the vehicle accidents specially during winter where food is scarce and they venture out of the woods encountering traffic. So, what can be done to protect reindeer and motorists? In Finland reindeer herders got a clever solution.  Reflective paint. At night, reflective paints makes it easier to spot a reindeer wanting to cross the street…  therefore, reduce accidents. So next time you go to Finland see if you can spot a reflective reindeer walking by!

4 Reindeer Can Fly!


As children we have been told the story of Santa and his reindeer flying to deliver presents through the chimney.  And where did that story come from? Besides reindeer being used to pull the sleigh, according to historians, people in the artic and Siberian regions as well as reindeer like to eat hallucinogenic mushrooms called amanita muscaria, so they all can fly….  The mushroom was often given as a winter solstice gift and coveted by all! But how about Santa entering via the chimney? There is an explanation too. The winter was so strong that the snow would block doors and windows. so often people had to enter through an opening in the roof… mystery solved!!! Flying reindeer and chimney entering, verified!

3 Race Winners


Things may get a little dicey when driving in the snow.  And If you are in the artic, you may benefit from the skilled reindeer to take you around. And how fast can they go? Pretty fast for snow conditions! with a top speed of about 50mi/hr 80km/hr. so as you can imagine, reindeer racing is an artic tradition. and Unlike the horse and camel riders who use a saddle, the riders are actually dragged on a pair of skis!!! With just a helmet, no padding and holding on to dear life with some really bright and creative Lycra suits!!!  horse and camel racing is popular in many parts of the world, so why wouldn’t reindeer racing?  They can fly throught the snow! Run like the wind!!

2 Unique Measure Of Distance


Haven’t you gone for a long road trip and had to make few stops, either to eat or to fill up the car with gas? Since no gas is needed to ride a reindeer sleight, when would you stop? Apparently, every couple of miles… The Sami people of northern Finland have a very unique measurement of distance.   Since reindeer have to make a stop to be able to urinate, the distance between stops is called Po’ron ku’sema wich is about every 5 miles 8 kms.

1 The Necessary Licking


While in the kitchen, as you are making your favorite dish, you mix the different ingredients and serve your meal. And what’s your favorite dish on a cold snowy day?  If you were a reindeer, you will hunt for moss, like we mentioned earlier in the video to stay warm.  But, since salt is rare in the harsh artic weather, nothing must be wasted, and that includes urine.  The salt content is a necessity.  And if you need to gather your herd of free roaming reindeer, you just have to urinate and they will come.  Remember the mushrooms we talked about earlier too? The hallucinogenic properties of the mushrooms can be found in the urine and so the reindeer will fight for the magical yellow snow.

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