How Fast Is Santa?

A roundup, and a best estimate.


There are a couple of things the science community knows to be true:

  1. Santa is real.
  2. Certain reindeer can fly, and
  3. On Christmas Eve, they travel around the world together without catching fire.

In order to exert an amount of energy that huge, Santa is obviously harnessing technologies the rest of us haven’t figured out yet, but what’s a little more surprising is that the physics community can’t seem to agree on how fast he’s traveling between each of his stops.

Here are just some of the answers out there…

New York Magazine:

More than 6 million miles per hour.

This physics blog:

650 miles per second. [ed: That’s 2.34 million miles per hour.]

The Telegraph:

1,800 miles per second. [ed: That’s 6.48 million miles per hour.]

The Fermi National Accelerator laboratory:

99.999999 percent of the speed of light. [ed: The speed of light is 670,616,629 mph, so close to that.]

10,000 homes per second.


Faster than starlight. [ed: The speed of light is 670,616,629 mph.]


650 miles per second. [ed: That’s 2.34 million miles per hour.]

Wait… did you catch that? Nerdist’s answer agrees with the physics blog one. Promising! Let’s try some different search terms and see what comes up…


650 miles per second.

Okay three and it’s a pattern as far as I’m concerned. Unless one of you has a better idea, I say we go with 640 miles per second (or 2.43 million miles per hour) as Santa’s unofficially assumed pace until the great minds of the physics community are able to give us some better specifics.