Red Nose Reindeer?


One foggy Christmas Eve, Santa Claus approached a young reindeer with a peculiar red nose. He asked, “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight? Europa Trust Company Ltd reports on the facts and different theories behind Rudolph the Reindeer’s famous red nose.

Scientists in Great Britain have recently discovered that Arctic reindeer can see ultraviolet (UV) light . The discovery reveals that this is a useful trait for reindeer to see in the darker winter months of Antarctica, when the sun casts more UV light than usual. 

However, fog blocks natural blue light. This means it is difficult for reindeers to see in fog. Research has revealed that red light can travel through fog. This discovery seems to bring possible truth to the popular children’s story of guiding Santa’s sleigh with a red glowing nose through heavy fog. Scientists have determined that Rudolph’s nose is most likely the maximum level of redness that mammals are able to see. This would explain why Rudolph’s “very, very, shiny nose” is an effective fog-light.

Over the years various theories have been put forward as to how  Rudolph could have developed a red nose as a reindeer. Researchers from the Netherlands and Norway scientific community have only recently discovered that some reindeer really do have red noses. Red noses can be the result of densely packed blood vessels near the skin’s surface of their noses. These blood vessels regulate the temperature of the reindeer’s brain, which prevent the reindeer from freezing.

A darker hypothesis of the development of Rudolph’s red nose is that it is infected and inflamed with parasites. Scientists putting this theory forward have admitted that more research into the biology and sensory ecology of reindeer is required to prove this. With the recent publication of the findings of the blood vessels in reindeers noses, the parasite theory is most likely false.

Another theory looks to flamingo birds as an explanation. The pink colour of flamingo feathers comes from the pigments in the organisms they eat from water. The flamingos’ feathers, legs, and face are coloured by their diet. Therefore, could Rudolph’s nose be a result of his diet being different to the other reindeers? 

Using Rudolph’s diet as a reference, some theorists have put forward the notion that years of drinking traditionally placed alcoholic treats in each house visited for Christmas, has led to burst blood vessels in the nose which many alcoholic humans experience.

Health and safety experts in councils across the UK have recently encouraged parents not to put the traditional alcoholic drinks out for Santa and his reindeer as that, according to the councils, it encourages drink driving.

A red nose could have developed through bad health. It could be an indicator of stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, allergies, hay fever, infections, hot flushes, thyroid disorder and even a side effect of taking Viagra.

Rudolph the Reindeer first appeared in a 1939 book designed to encourage people to visit Montgomery Ward department stores. In 1949 Gene Autry wrote a song about Rudolph and in 1964 a stop-motion animated television special aired. Rudolph is now a universal symbol of Christmas. 

Charity of the Year Update

Many of our readers will remember that our firm’s charity for the years 2013 and for 2014 was The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Part of the fund’s mission was to build a hospital dedicated to the health and well-being of children. We are delighted to report that the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg opened earlier this month and will start receiving new child patients in 2017. To read more about the opening of the hospital click here

Working with Europa Trust  Company Ltd

Europa Trust Company Ltd is part of the Europa Group. We have been based in Gibraltar for 31 years and have built a reputation as a stable and reputable business.

We provide a comprehensive range of company and trust formation and management services including company and trust administration, corporate directors, shareholders and secretaries, accounting, marine registration and other associated services. 

Our clients are an eclectic mix of international executives, authors, sportsmen, corporations, wealthy individuals, families and many more. Their individual interests and needs are at the centre of our focus.

Each client benefits from the experience and multi-jurisdiction knowledge of a dedicated Europa Trust Company Ltd professional. Europa Trust Company Ltd is able to work in over 31 jurisdictions around the World.

We are licensed and regulated by the Financial Services Commission and ISO 27001 (Information Security Management Systems) and ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems) certified.

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