Fun Fact Wednesday December 18, 2019
18 December 2019
Rudolph, the red nosed reindeer, first appeared in a 1939 coloring booklet written by Robert L. May and published by Montgomery Ward, the department store. The character Rudolph was so popular that the store gave out over two million copies of the coloring book the first year. The story is owned by The Rudolph Company, LP and has been adapted and shaped in numerous forms including a popular song by Johnny Marks, the iconic 1964 stop-motion animated television special and its two sequels from Rankin/Bass Productions, as well as the 1998 traditional animated feature film and a 2001 CGI sequel from Good Times Entertainment. Rudolph has become a figure of Christmas folklore, but why is his nose red? According to Roger Highfield, the author of the book “The Physics of Christmas; From the Aerodynamics of Reindeer to the Thermodynamics of Turkey” Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system. That’s right, the world’s most famous reindeer had a red nose due to a parasite. Maybe that’s why the other reindeer wouldn’t let him join in their reindeer games. Rudolph’s relationship with his parasite is symbiotic: after all, the red nose illuminates the path through the winter night for the whole reindeer team and Santa.
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