Have You Ever Seen a ‘Reindeer Cyclone?’
Does this have something to do how Santa can deliver all those presents in a single night? I don't think so...but maybe?
What is a “Reindeer Cyclone?”
Live Science said that Vikings hunting reindeer in Norway were astonished by these reindeer cyclones. If a herd felt a threat, it would run in circles, making it nearly impossible to target a single animal.
In 2019, PBS aired a documentary called “Wild Way of the Vikings” about the Nordic area around the year 1000 A.D.
One of the documentary's scenes shows a re-enactment of a Viking hunt with real footage of reindeer herds. Reindeer were important to the Vikings for their meat, hides, antlers and bones, according to the film. (Below)
In the cyclone scene, a hunter (an actor playing a Viking) approaches the herd; notches and releases an arrow, spooking the herd, resulting in the reindeer running counter-clockwise in a spiral shape. This strategy makes it hard for a hunter or predator to target a single reindeer.
According to a study posted on Rangifer from 2002:
Free-ranging reindeer showed no right or left preference during grazing or browsing, but when the reindeer were driven into corrals or forced to clump in the open, they rotated leftwards.
But they don’t always spiral counter-clockwise, as seen in the videos below.
The Taimyr herd of Siberian reindeer in Russia is the largest wild reindeer herd in the world, varying between 400,000 and 1,000,000.