The science behind Rudolph's red, red nose

Scientists have long wanted to know the reason behind the world's most famous reindeer's even more famous red nose.

Some observers have speculated that Rudolf may have bioluminescent properties —the capability to make organic chemicals that glow in the dark.

But Scandinavian scientists have found that, though it may not glow in the dark, Rudolph's nose is most definitely red.

In a study published in the British Medical Journal, Dr. Can Ince of Erasmus University Rotterdam in Netherlands and his team found that a reindeer's nose is 25 percent richer in blood vessels than humans'.

And after several treadmill tests, the team observed that reindeer do indeed have red noses due to increased blood circulation within their nose tissues.

The scientists believe that Rudolph's red nose helps "protect it from freezing during sleigh rides and to regulate the temperature of the reindeer’s brain, factors essential for flying reindeer pulling Santa Claus’s sleigh under extreme temperatures."

They also added that the famous reindeer's shiny nose "is anatomically and physiologically adapted for reindeer to carry out their flying duties for Santa Claus," according to the study. In fact, under thermal imaging, you could even say it glows. — TJD, GMA News

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