Interesting Facts About Reindeer That Make Us Rethink The Holidays
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Everybody knows the integral role of the reindeer in Santa’s yuletide operation. Without them, there would be no Saint Nick, let alone any click, click, click. But how much do we really know about our holiday beasts of burden?
For instance, did you know that the Great Reindeer Strike of ’82 almost canceled Christmas before Santa acquiesced and gave them comprehensive hoof coverage? You didn’t because I made that up. But these facts below are not made up, so go bone up on your reindeer FAQs and impress the whole family this Holiday season!
Jump To Section
- 1. Born to Run
- 2. I See An Antler An I Want It Painted Silver
- 3. The Velvet Antler-ground
- 4. One Last Dance With Comet And Blitzten
- 5. I Wouldn’t Touch Him With A Ten And A Half Foot Reindeer
- 6. Blinded By The (Ultraviolet) Light
- 7. Woop! Woop! That’s The Sound of The Police!
- 8. Reindeer Are Good For Your Heart
- 9. Dude Looks Like a Lady
1. Born to Run
Reindeer are not just known for carrying a sleigh all around the world in one night. They also travel nearly 3,000 miles every year in search of food to survive the very long and frigid winters.
2. I See An Antler An I Want It Painted Silver
In Finland, it is not all too uncommon to swerve your car to avoid reindeer. To solve these traffic related issues, the government has the animals’ antlers spray painted with a reflective color in order to protect drivers and animals alike.
3. The Velvet Antler-ground
Reindeer are the only deer species on the planet in which both males and females grow antlers. However, the sexes do shed them at different parts of the year.
When first developing, the antlers are covered in a red material called velvet. The velvet looks creepy but is actually a perfectly natural way for the antlers to be supplied blood and nutrients while growing. Eventually the velvet falls off completely.
4. One Last Dance With Comet And Blitzten
Evidently, there is at least one researcher who believes reindeer love to get high. To do so, the reindeer ingest psychedelic wild mushrooms in an attempt to relieve their boredom in the winter (making them not unlike some humans who do the same). The researcher goes on to state that reindeer herders used to drink the animal’s urine in order to reach a similar high.
5. I Wouldn’t Touch Him With A Ten And A Half Foot Reindeer
The lovely people of northern Finland actually have their own unit of measurement called a “poronkusema.” It was created by the Sami people who inhabit the area and is the distance a reindeer can travel before urinating. “Already, Rudolph? It hasn’t even been a half poronkusema! I will turn this herd around!”
6. Blinded By The (Ultraviolet) Light
Reindeer can see ultraviolet light. A reindeer can see light waves up to 320nm (in comparison humans can only see 40nm), and this is a valuable evolutionary skill that allows them to see better in the midst of the snowy tundra.
7. Woop! Woop! That’s The Sound of The Police!
In certain parts of Finland, reindeer are used as police animals in a similar fashion to police dogs.
8. Reindeer Are Good For Your Heart
Reindeer are a primary part of the diet for many parts of the world such as Canada and parts of Scandinavia. This is a tradition that still exists today for many people in the northern parts of the globe.
9. Dude Looks Like a Lady
It is likely that the Reindeer on Santa’s sleigh would be female. This is due to the fact that male reindeers typically lose their antler by December – therefore if the reindeer on Christmas have them, they are most likely ladies.
You’re telling me Rudolph is a girl? I guess Rudy for short should be the norm now.
Share these facts with your friends and family and teach them something new!