A new study published today in The Journal of Humanoid Genetics reveals high levels of inbreeding among Santa’s famous toy making elves.
Analysis of DNA microsatellites obtained from blood samples taken from several hundred randomly chosen North Pole elves resulted in an estimated coefficient of relationship of approximately 14%. First cousins, for comparison, have a coefficient of relationship of 12.5%.
RIGHT: Alarming deformations have been observed among the elf population. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE)
“Our findings are not particularly surprising given the extreme geographic isolation of the population,” Dr. Ken Hawkzima, the study’s lead scientist, explained. “Unfortunately, this level of relatedness among random individuals casts serious doubts over the long term viability of this elven subspecies.”
The study details alarmingly high incidents of birth defects including “coned skulls and elongation and upturning of the toes” and even goes so far as to hypothesize these abnormalities are the historic origins of the pointy hats and curled shoes now synonymous with the toy makers.
Santa could not be reached for direct comment but his office released a press statement saying, “Mr. Clause has always held the deepest respect for the privacy of his magical workers and has no knowledge of elf mating practices.”