You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I’m telling you why. Santa Claus’ remains may have been found in the town of Demre, Turkey. Archeologists uncovered a temple and burial grounds underneath St Nicholas church in the province of Antalya, where Saint Nicholas, the inspiration for Santa Claus, is believed to have been born. The archaeologists believe that with this new discovery, they may have finally found where the saint was buried after his death.
A quick refresher: Nicholas was a bishop in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey) in the fourth century who was beloved for his generosity and piety. Legend has it that Nicholas had a habit of giving toys to kids and he became an extremely popular and beloved man all around the world. As the centuries passed, Nicholas slowly started being regarded as a mythical figure, synonymous with the spirit of giving and thus became the inspiration for Santa Claus aka. Kris Kringle, aka. Father Christmas, aka old Longbeard McRedHat.
There are conflicting timelines and a lot of speculation about when St. Nicholas actually became Claus. But the consensus seems to be that it began to happen sometime in the 16th century. During the Protestant Reformation, people were told not to hold saints in too high of regard, including Nicholas. Rather than forget about good old Nick, he remained as prominent a force in society as ever, eventually serving as the muse for the North Pole’s most famous resident.
For a long time, Saint Nicholas’ body was believed to be buried in the Italian city of Bari but most evidence suggests that’s not actually the case. So why haven’t the archaeologists been able to confirm that Saint Nick is, in fact, buried down in the burial grounds? Because they are still trying to figure out a way to dig into the structure without destroying other historical artifacts. Once they’re able to access the structure, we may finally know once and for all where the man who inspired the myth was laid to rest. Now if we could just figure out what the hell happened to all those reindeer.