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

By Seriously Science | September 20, 2013 12:00 pm

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.)

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?

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.”

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  • agnes debinski

    While he may be right, I suppose most Christmas lovers would like to presume, that Rudolph has actually caught a cold.


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Seriously, Science?, formerly known as NCBI ROFL, is the brainchild of two prone-to-distraction biologists. We highlight the funniest, oddest, and just plain craziest research from the PubMed research database and beyond. Because nobody said serious science couldn't be silly!
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