Families who have been eagerly following Father Christmas on NORAD's Santa tracker were left bewildered earlier today as the site briefly crashed. Technical problems earlier today meant no one had any idea where Father Christmas was, leaving parents unsure how to explain to their children where the main man was.
He set off from the North Pole to deliver gifts to children around the world, with youngsters and their parents heading onto NORAD's special Santa tracker to follow him on his journey. His first stop was Tonga and was spotted going over New Zealand before the site crashed, the Mirror reports.
Instead, visitors to the site were presented with a blank page, leaving many confused. The site then returned, before going down again at around 1.35pm, seemingly struggling under the weight of millions of visits.
The NORAD tracker has been plotting and sharing Santa's route for decades, with a service first launching in America in 1955 entirely by accident. An advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa, so instead of reaching Father Christmas, the phone number put kids through to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
Those already celebrating the festivities took to social media in confusion as the NORAD tracker appeared to go down briefly on Christmas Eve morning. "The NORAD Santa tracker website has crashed and I have no clue how I’m going to explain this to the kiddos when they wake back up for the day," one person on Twitter said.
"Where is Santa? NORAD can you please get it back up because I NEED to know where Santa is," another wrote, sharing a screenshot of a blank map with no details. A third added: "the NORAD Santa tracker isn’t working this is devastating."
While the site does seem to be up and running again, with Santa currently over Australia, there are alternatives in case it drops out again. Google's Santa Tracker continues a 19-year tradition for the company, and can be accessed using a web browser on iPhone, iPad, or Mac by visiting Google's official Santa Tracking website, while FlightRadar24 is also following Santa's journey.