Rudolph’s red nose is a famous part of Christmas – he was ridiculed for his glowing nose, but chosen by Santa himself to guide the iconic sleigh across the world and deliver presents to millions of children. It’s an uplifting, Christmas tale.
But why was Rudolph’s nose so red in the first place?
According to handful of Dutch scientists, he was just overheated. The group published a report last Tuesday, appropriately titled “Microcirculatory investigations of nasal mucosa in reindeer Rangifer tarandus (Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Cervidae): Rudolph’s nose was overheated,” that claims the reindeer’s illuminating schnoz was the result of hyperthermia.
The report says:
“The exceptional physical burden of flying with a sleigh with Santa Claus as a heavy load could have caused cerebral and bodily hyperthermia, resulting in an overworked nasal cooling mechanism that resembles an overheated cooling radiator in a car”
It’s not a guaranteed diagnosis, though. The authors offered other explanations that could have caused the red nose, including the common cold, parasitic infection or, yes, even alcoholic intoxication.
A key bit of science research that was!