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Samantha Felix Samantha Felix

Video: Did Magic Mushrooms Make Santa’s Reindeer Fly?

Santa's flying friends may have their roots in Sami tradition and a red-capped 'shroom.

3 Substance

Reindeer love to eat the magic mushrooms that grow even inside the Arctic Circle. And it’s said that the legend of Santa and his flying reindeer is one result of this penchant. Shamans of the Sami people of northern Scandinavia and Russia would drink the urine of these magic mushroom-munching ruminants during visionary rituals, as this BBC video explains.

Reindeer forage for Amanita muscaria, commonly known as ”fly agaric” mushrooms, by digging through the snow with their hooves to reveal the bright red caps. It is unknown exactly how the mushrooms affect the reindeer. But in humans they cause intense visions, such as flying.