Neil deGrasse Tyson is speaking up on Christmas 2020, in order to correct a little scientific inaccuracy that Santa Claus has been perpetuating for years. We all know the story of Santa and his reindeer (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and of course Rudolph), but there is one thing wrong with the way the legend is typically depicted: Santa's reindeer can't all sport those fancy antlers that you see in Christmas displays all around the world - not if we want all the gender identities to line up. It's not a statement on 2020 wokeness - just some simple zoology that should probably be known.
Santa doesn’t know Zoology:
Both male & female Reindeer grow antlers. But all male Reindeer lose their antlers in the late fall, well-before Christmas.
So Santa’s reindeer, which all sport antlers, are therefore all female, which means Rudolf has been misgendered. pic.twitter.com/fkHqhJM7dY— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 25, 2020
"Santa doesn’t know Zoology: Both male & female Reindeer grow antlers. But all male Reindeer lose their antlers in the late fall, well-before Christmas. So Santa’s reindeer, which all sport antlers, are therefore all female, which means Rudolf has been misgendered."
Of course, it's easier from an aesthetic perspective to make Santa's magical reindeer all look regal and whimsical with those big antlers. While Tyson is, in fact, dropping science, it's questionable how many people want that zoological fact about gender identity intruding on their Christmas fantasy. But isn't that 2020 in a nutshell, though?
This year has been especially interesting for Santa Claus and his annual mission of bringing toys to the kids of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns had kids worrying about how Santa would reach them this year - and what kind of peril Jolly Old Saint Nick would face, having to run in and out of different homes all over the globe while staying safe from COVID. It got to the point where Dr. Anthony Fauci went on Sesame Street to reassure Elmo that Santa was safe:
"I measured his level of immunity, and he is good to go," Fauci said. "He can come down the chimney, he can leave the presents, he can leave and you have nothing to worry about."
Merry Christmas to everyone!