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Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

Santa qualifies as a superhero, says physics professor

Technically Incorrect: Professor Michael Dennin claims to have done months of research before reaching his controversial conclusion.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


His features aren't chiseled, but he bends space and time to fly around the world.

screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

I know you prefer your superheroes looking like movie stars, punching, zapping, enwebbing and blowing up bad people.

It's worth considering that this might not be an exclusive club.

Can you imagine an overweight superhero whose main claim to fame is cruising around on an aerial sleigh?

Please don't scoff, listen to this prof.

Michael Dennin, a physics and astronomy professor from the University of California, Irvine, thought this might be an appropriate time of year to wonder whether Santa was as super as Wonder Woman.

He considered the question for many months and, as all fine academics do, looked at it from more than one perspective.

In a deeply-considered YouTube video, he lays those out.

First, Santa's superpowers: Certainly, Santa manages to be in so many places so quickly that he must shrink space and time, and then allow that space to revert to its former state.

So as not to confuse the children, you understand.

Then there's Santa wafting down chimneys. "This is a little Ant Man-ish," says Dennin.

"We know matter cannot be created or destroyed unless you turn it into an altered form like energy, so unless Santa Claus was becoming incredibly dense when he shrunk to get into the chimney, that matter has to turn into energy," he explains.

Dennin manages to scientifically describe each of Santa's many superpowers. He does worry, though, that knowing which children are bad and which good might mean that Santa uses spying technology akin to that enjoyed by secret services.

He also worries that Santa doesn't have a classic enemy. Might one suggestion be the Abominable Snowman?

In any case, Mr. Claus is such a fountain of goodness that his enemy is -- oh, look around you at all the evil in the world.