It is one of the greatest mysteries of all time - more bizarre than the existence of breasts, and more unknowable than the chemical composition of water. So just why do Christmas crackers contain paper hats for us to wear on our heads, like Jesus did when he celebrated Christmas two thousand years ago?
Paper hats are mentioned in the Bible in the book of Kenneth, chapter 7: "And therefore, matron, did they go forth and oooh! Lo, were there hats uponeth their heads, which were horned not. And of brightly coloured paper were they made, for they had no furs or leather or cloth to maketh their bleeding hats of, nor to maketh underpants to cover their filthy underparts."
It is unlikely that we will ever know who first made a paper hat or who came up with the idea because it happened so long ago. So the answer to the question is unknown. But many scientists and non-science folk have theories as to why we wear them.
Image-conscious boffin Brian Cox from television believes that physics holds the key to paper hats. He droned cheerily, "Paper hats are made up of atoms, just like the Universe itself. It's possible that hats could hold the key to our understanding of the Universe. That's why scientists in Switzerland are currently constructing a giant paper hat, 20km in diameter, to conduct experiments in physics." Unfortunately the results of the experiment will not be available for another 300 years, but Cox is confident that the discoveries will be hat-rippingly earth-shattering.
Professional speaker and God-botherer the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby disagreed. He thought that the paper hat reminds us about the importance of giving money to the church. "Whenever I put a hat on, it reminds me of St Gary, the patron saint of church donations, who was crucified while wearing his paper Christmas hat. So when you wear your hat this Christmas, remember to give all your money to the church. You know we need it more than you do."