Planet Earth

Flashback Friday: The real reason Rudolph's nose was red.

reindeer-300x225.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Photo: flickr/tristanf(It’s Red Hot Science Week here at Seriously, Science? All week long we will be featuring science that focuses on the color red.)

Epidemiology of reindeer parasites. “Every Christmas we sing about Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer, but do we give much thought to why his nose is red? The general consensus is that Rudolf has caught a cold, but as far as I know no proper diagnosis has been made of his abnormal condition. I think that, rather than having a cold, Rudolf is suffering from a parasitic infection of his respiratory system. To some this may seem a bit far-fetched as one would not expect an animal living with Santa Claus at the North Pole to be plagued by parasites, but I shall show otherwise.”

If you're wondering whether scientists have a sense of humor, look no further. This Norwegian ecologist decided to diagnose Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, concluding that the famous reindeer was suffering from a parasitic infection of his respiratory system (LOL!) Maybe that's why the other reindeer never let him join in their games?

Related content: NCBI ROFL: Is that a subcutaneous larva or a hair?

NCBI ROFL: Want to cure your malaria? Get wasted!

NCBI ROFL: The fecal odor of sick hedgehogs mediates olfactory attraction of the tick Ixodes hexagonus.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Magazine Examples
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.