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Rotterdam researchers find out why Rudolph's nose is red

Wednesday 19 December 2012

rudolph%20the%20red%20nose.png Infra-red pictures show where a reindeer is hottest after exercise. Photo: Ince Can et al via BMJ

Santa Claus’ reindeer Rudolph has a red nose because of the way his body deals with cold temperatures, according to a team of researchers from Rotterdam’s Erasmus University and from Norway.

Professor Can Ince and the team discovered reindeer have a high number of blood vessels in their noses, which are important in temperature regulation when it gets very cold. This leads to their noses turning bright pink.

‘These factors explain why the nose of Rudolph, the lead flying reindeer employed by Santa Claus to pull his sleigh, is red and well-adapted to carrying out his duties in extreme temperatures.’ Ince and the co-authors wrote in their study. The research is published in the British Medical Journal and has implications for human health.

The study involved five healthy volunteers, and two adult reindeer from Tromsø, Norway, which is located near the North Pole.

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Readers' Comments

What about Sir Alex Ferguson?

By @CluthaDubh | 19 December 2012 11:58 AM

Doesn't Rotterdam's Erasmus University have anything better to do than carrying out this kind of 'fictional' research? How about trying to cure cancer or other diseases?

By Marco | 19 December 2012 12:04 PM

Well, I'll cross that off my list of things to ask G-d when I get to heaven...

By Sam | 19 December 2012 12:20 PM

Hi,
Rotterdam researchers find out why Rudolph's nose is red. Well done. I always thought the world is flat and the sun rotates around the earth. What would we do without such research?

By Terence Hale | 19 December 2012 10:05 PM

Ah-ha, well, that answers that mystery... I'll sleep better knowing it. Now, if someone could tell us why the Dutch are so fascinated with blowing off fireworks...

By Quince | 20 December 2012 2:52 PM

oy my god, Rudolph's heart is near his bum!!!!!! chekc out the picture!!!!

By dork | 20 December 2012 6:46 PM

Are they sure that alcoholic beverages consumed in the chilly northern climes did not contribute to the ruddiness of Rudolph's sniffer? As an example, I cite the American, Teddy Kennedy, who also murdered a young woman because he developed such a nose.

By Drawer 22 | 20 December 2012 7:28 PM

@Quince, you should visit Venezuela in December. In ANY Venezuelan city there's fireworks and explosions 24/7. Sometimes, people run out of fireworks and simply fire their guns to the air, or to metal cans, public transport signs, or anything that will cause a lot of noise. The Dutch's fireworks fascinations looks like child's play for me.

By Michelangelo | 21 December 2012 9:37 AM

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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