https://cdni.rt.com/files/2020.12/xxl/5fe5961285f54060b85cbacd.jpg

Neil deGrasse Tyson is known for his deep insights into the mysteries of the universe, but his takes on Christmas-related topics appear to be less popular, after he argued Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was actually female.

The famous astrophysicist fired off a scandalous Christmas Eve tweet accusing Santa Claus of zoological ignorance. 

“Both male & female Reindeer grow antlers. But all male Reindeer lose their antlers in the late fall, well before Christmas,” the scientist wrote, concluding: “So Santa’s reindeer, which all sport antlers, are therefore all female, which means Rudolf has been misgendered.”

Santa doesn’t know Zoology:Both male & female Reindeer grow antlers. But all male Reindeer lose their antlers in the late fall, well-before Christmas.So Santa’s reindeer, which all sport antlers, are therefore all female, which means Rudolf has been misgendered. pic.twitter.com/fkHqhJM7dY

The provocative comment triggered a cerebral exploration of long-established Rudolph doctrine. 

“Neil doesn’t know Rudolph’s history. He first appeared in 1939 and he had no antlers,”read one of many replies that took issue with the tweet. 

Others consulted original texts, noting that in ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,’ published in 1949, the magical flying mammal had “only tiny stubs” for antlers.

“He most likely dropped them late fall and they grew back early due to genetic mutations,” one Santa scholar noted.

Been studying this extensively for months – According to ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’ (copyright 1949), Rudolph had “only tiny stubs” for antlers. He most likely dropped them late fall and they grew back early due to genetic mutations. pic.twitter.com/lhDkHcNTMq

There was also considerable confusion as to why Tyson was not focusing his analysis on less-believable aspects of Rudolph. 

“I figured as an astrophysicist you’d go after the whole flying thing first,”wrote popular YouTube personality Marques Brownlee.

I love how you took on the misgendering but not, like, the flying. Amazing.

Although many appeared to assume that the astrophysicist was being pedantic for the fun of it, his trolling was characterized by some as undermining the holiday spirit. 

not today, neil degrinch tyson

Long time fan, stop ruining things that are supposed to be fun. Signed, EVERYBODY

The tweet also earned Tyson a nomination for one of the worst takes of 2020, as part of the annual ‘List’ compiled by commenter Siraj Hashmi. 

✍🏼nominated✍🏼for✍🏼the✍🏼List✍🏼 pic.twitter.com/s5RiC3yBJa

Tyson isn’t alone in being accused of disrespecting Santa folklore. British Labour MP Luke Pollard was roasted by his constituents for writing a letter addressed to children claiming that Father Christmas had been vaccinated against Covid-19, allowing him to safely deliver presents this year.

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