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A Sciency Festive Q&A

It might be Christmas, but that doesn’t mean the questions stop. In fact, we find that kids are even more curious at this time of year, as they try to wrap their heads around the magic of the festive season. Here are a few of our favourites!

Is Rudolph’s nose really red?

This is no ‘Christmyth’! There’s a species of reindeer that does indeed have a distinct red tinge to their noses. And the believers among us won’t be surprised to learn that you’ll find these gorgeous beasts in certain Arctic regions. Y’know, close to the North Pole? The redness is down to a dense cluster of blood vessels packed into the nose. These vessels can deliver blood there to help manage body temperature and protect the brain in the freezing environment. The more we think about it, why wouldn’t Santa pick a lead reindeer that’s better equipped to handle the freezing cold temperatures?

Why do our fairy lights always come out tangled?

It doesn’t matter what you do, every year your lights emerge from your box of decorations in a knotty mess! It’s not you, and it’s not Gremlins. You’re literally battling the mathematical laws of probability here and the odds are always stacked against you. See, thanks to something called entropy there are many ways for a string of lights to become tangled but only one way for them to remain unravelled. So don’t feel too bad. As a certain fictional starship engineer once said… “Ye cannae change the laws of physics!” Check out this article which explains everything without making your brain hurt.

Which is better? A real tree or a fake tree?

Of course a real tree looks better and smells better, but is it better to buy an artificial tree and save one from being ripped out of the ground? We checked in with the Carbon Trust and the answer is a definite no. The carbon footprint of a real pine is lower than a plastic one, especially if you dispose of it responsibly. Don’t despair if you do have a plastic one though. If you take care of it and use it no less than 10 times, you’ll have evened out the carbon footprint score. Winner! Read more about how you can have a more earth-friendly Christmas here.

Want more festive facts? Check out our post on why Santa is the ultimate Curiositeer!

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