In my world, Santa Claus is the head of a large, super-secret organization that utilizes advanced technology and paramilitarily organized elves to distribute presents to billions of households on an additional, “secret” day between December 24th and 25th, cooperating with the global governments in order to keep the secrecy.

The existence of this “stolen day” of the year is kept secret by means discussed in another question.

Here, the biological and logistical implications of this day are to be discussed.

It is straightforward that a majority of the world population (excluding the several dozen million people who participate in the operation) must stay in an artificial coma during these 24 hours.

My question is:

  • How can a majority of the world’s population (and relevant animals, plants, etc...) be placed into a coma for 24 hours, halting biological processes such as aging, development and healing of diseases and wounds, pregnancy, growth and thelike or at least slowing them down severely?
  • How can those who need to stay awake for one reason or the other during the night be granted a “seamless” time loss experience?
  • How can global sleep times and time zones be accounted for so that (if possible) presents do not appear suddenly out of the air for the comatose observer but rather are found after waking up?
  • How can those who are supposed to be kept awake?

Special elf teams will be tasked with taking care of time-sensitive processes such as chemical experiments that only last minutes, “faking” or “replacing” them. Some crucial infrastructure personnel such as nuclear power plant workers will be allowed to stay awake during the day. As such, you can safely assume that the signa of the secret operation will be reduced to minimal “anomalies” that will be exploited by conspiracy theorists in YouTube videos and reddit posts.

To incentivize creative thinking, the following limitations will be made:

  • No time travel or physics-bending.
  • Kardashev type 1.0 technology at most.

closed as too broad by Renan, StephenG, elemtilas, Ash, rek Nov 4 '18 at 21:45

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Let's be honest here, you're basically asking for the implausible or the magical ;b $\endgroup$ – B.fox Nov 4 '18 at 0:53
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    $\begingroup$ Amateur astronomers will immediately notice that the moon is in the wrong place. Everyone expecting a change of weather the next day will also notice. Boaters will see tides at the wrong time and height, $\endgroup$ – user535733 Nov 4 '18 at 2:14
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    $\begingroup$ We ask one question at a time on WB SE and it's supposed to be reasonably focused in a narrow way to allow constructive answers. This is a "please write my story for me" mess. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Nov 4 '18 at 6:10
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    $\begingroup$ Please consider using the Sandbox. $\endgroup$ – JBH Nov 4 '18 at 6:40

One solution could be to use nanobots. With help from the governments, nanobots can be placed in the food supply, in such minuscule quantities that conspiracy theorists and other interested citizens cannot detect them. These nanobots will circulate within the bloodstream until they reach the brain. By the time Christmas comes, they will have accumulated a significant enough amount of nanobots for them to do their job.

Their job is as follows. On the secret day, the nanobots will tap into their host's mind, and using the memories of the host, the nanobots will direct the host to enter a temporary coma at the location where the host typically sleeps, at least in recent times. While unconscious, the nanobots will get to work changing the connections between neurons in the hippocampus and other parts of the brain, in order to create memories for the person to explain why they are asleep, and how they got there. When the host wakes up 1 day later, it will be as if nothing happened, and thus Santa's goal is achieved.

The nanobots will know how to create false memories through neural networks within the nanobots programming, which will take the neuron connections as inputs, and output the neuron connections required to create a satisfactory false memory.

In a coma-like state, biological processes should be slowed down, though the nanobots could also get into bacteria and virus cells and either destroy them or induce a dormant state, allowing either the spontaneous curing of the disease (which will not be complained about) or the halting of the diseases progression. The nanobots can be placed in pet food to account for people's pets, which should be the only other relevant organisms.

People who need to stay awake can simply take a drug that binds to the surface of the nanobots, shutting them down and allowing them to exit the brain and be filtered out of the bloodstream and into urine. This will ensure that essential people stay awake.

Also, after the coma-like state ends, the host will still be asleep and will wake up naturally, meaning not everyone will wake up at the exact same time, which would be suspicious.


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