When it comes to Christmas characters, we know them all — aside from Santa and Mrs. Claus, there’s Santa’s reindeer that help him deliver presents and packages to children all over the world. But after hearing this theory on Santa’s reindeer, maybe we don’t know them as well as we thought we did.
Science backs up the theory that Santa’s reindeer are all women. Since women can multitask and take on crazy hours, it just makes a lot of sense — but there’s more to it than that. It’s actually all in the antlers.
Let’s chat a little bit about reindeer. While both sexes have antlers, males typically shed theirs right after mating season in the beginning of December. Females, on the other hand, have thinner antlers throughout winter.
When asked about it by LiveScience back in 2012, physiologist Perry Barboza of the Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska at Fairbanks commented on the claim that Santa’s reindeer were female with, “It appears that way.” Barboza is known for studying both reindeer and caribou, so if you had to consult an expert, he’d be a pretty good choice.
While the theory has been going around for awhile, it gained steam once again based on a tweet that quickly went viral a few days ago.
MALE REINDEER LOSE THEIR ANTLERS IN WINTER AND FEMALES DON'T THEREFORE SANTA'S SLEIGH IS ACTUALLY PULLED BY A TEAM OF STRONG, POWERFUL, UNDERRATED WOMEN!!!!! YOU GO, GIRLS!! I SEE YOU!!!— Cat Reynolds (@catreynoldsnyc) December 11, 2017
In case you’re curious, male reindeer start growing their antlers back in February, while female reindeers sprout theirs in May. The ladies hold onto theirs until their calves are born, according to the San Diego Zoo.
Since they’ve been presented as male for such a long time, a lot of people were fascinated to hear about this.
GIRL POWER— Kate Sung (@KateSung2) December 13, 2017
…while others tried to shut it out.
Why do they have boy names then— tommy ulrich (@TommyUlrich98) December 13, 2017
And it’s surprising how many people didn’t know that reindeers actually exist. A few people brought up the theory that castrated males can keep their antlers through the winter, which is true in a few cases, but — we’re going with girl power here.
So make sure to thank these powerful ladies this Christmas with some carrots and oats by the chimney. They deserve a little treat just like Santa.