Science has proven that there are benefits to Rudolph’s red nose. It is not there as a meaningless diversion after all.
Who hasn’t heard of the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. But have you ever thought about the benefits of a glistening red nose on this mythical reindeer.
Nathaniel J. Dominy, a Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth, decided to investigate this very phenomenon. A lot of research has gone into the eyes and noses of Arctic reindeer. How is Rudolph able to lead Santa and the rest of the reindeers in the foggy cold atmosphere of a freezing winter?
Arctic reindeer can detect ultraviolet light. This remains invisible to humans and most other mammals. In the midst of winter, when the sun is lower down, the scattered light in the atmosphere is mostly ultraviolet and blue.
The eye color of reindeers undergo a change from summer to winter. They are a rich golden color in summer months and then undergo a shift to a blue during winter months.
This change enables the reindeer to see despite the low visibility. The fog causes a lot of hazy weather so that seeing becomes a pain in the neck.
This is where the red nose of Rudolph comes into play as a signalling device. It acts like a navigation tool for the rest of the reindeer. The color of Rudolph’s nose resembles holly berries.
Rudoph’s nose shows the maximum of coloration that any mammal can detect. Thus it acts as a proper fog light. Reindeers also lose heat through their noses.
A glowing nose might lead to a lot of heat loss thereby possibly causing hypothermia. Therefore high calorie food is often fed to reindeers such as Rudolph so they might get their mojo back.
Christmas is a merry season of gift-giving and Santa leaves presents for little children in stockings. While the belief in Santa and Rudolph may not last for an entire lifetime, most children do manage to live their childhood years well by believing in Santa Claus and the spirit and magic of Christmas.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer manages to capture their imaginations and inspire them to enjoy their younger years before the responsibilities of adulthood take over and a bleak and black world of a 9 to 5 job along with wife and children takes over one’s life tasks.
Many of these children will go on to become leaders and scientists. And they might revisit their childhoods to find out the mysteries in more scientific and practical terms as the researcher who undertook a scientific study about Rudolph.
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This study just published by Frontiers for Young Minds.