Village of ChelfordChelford VillageChelford Village
Chelford Village
Wed 23rd Jan 2019Chelford Village weather - Partly cloudyPartly cloudy 5°C

Flying Reindeer

Home » Newsroom » Flying Reindeer

Yes, when you think about it, you'd be amazed to see a reindeer get off the ground at all. Santa and his sleigh are not very aerodynamic and he would need some serious ground speed to take off.

Santa reindeer

It's possible that the idea of Santa and his flying reindeer originated amongst the tribes of Nordic herders. Reindeers have a real liking for eating fly agaric toadstools and are largely unaffected by them, apart from a bit of intoxication.

Amanita muscari

Fly agaric (Amanita muscari) is very toxic to and more active in humans, as the familiar red and white spotted caps contain ibotenic acid which acts in a similar way to neurotransmitters in the human body. So what? Well, the result is hallucinations and other psychological 'disturbances'.

Those symptoms might explain why the herders thought the reindeer appeared to be flying. So, how did the herders come to be affected by fly agaric consumption?

We picked up a story in Iceland that the herders would collect and drink the urine of reindeer that had been eating fly agarics. This story has been verified amongst the Saami in northern Scandinavia. It's also true that ibotenic acid makes its way through the system into urine, so there is some scientific corroboration.

It's one way of getting drunk but it begs the question of how you might hit on the idea of drinking reindeer wee. The nights are very long, dark and cold beyond 60 degrees N.

Look out for more Christmas related strange stories in the run up to the big day!

editor's pickAlso in the news

East Cheshire Logo
Chelford Webteam: 13/12/2018

It's well worth supporting the East Cheshire Hospice's 19th Christmas Tree Collection and recycling event. This worthy annual event provides vital support help cover to the Hospice's operating costs. As the Hospice only receives...

Speedwatch
Chelford Webteam: 09/11/2018

Chelford Parish Council has had discussions with the police regarding the growing problem of speeding through the Village and on roads around the Village. Many residents have expressed concern for their safety. The police will be monitoring the...

Spring station 4
Chelford Webteam: 03/10/2018

Thank you very much to everyone who responded to the opinion survey on the possible future use of Chelford Station building. The funding for this feasibility study is provided by Northern and we are very grateful for their support.The...

© 2007 - 2019 Chelford Village Community Website