Why do random socks go missing?

24 Mar

It doesn’t matter how careful you are to always keep your socks together in pairs – inevitably you will find yourself hanging up the washing one day, get to the bottom of the basket, and be left with odd socks whose match cannot be found.

You may be familiar with the principles of osmosis. This is a phenomenon where water molecules travel through barriers from areas of high concentration to areas where the concentration is lower. In effect, the water molecules even themselves out to provide a more equal distribution.

The same principle applies to your washing machine and bedroom floor, except in this instance it is called socksmosis.

Socks travel from areas where there are many socks such as the laundry pile or washing machine drum to areas where the concentration of socks is low. This can be anywhere but is usually somewhere adjacent to the high-density areas, depending on the layout of your house. Common low-density sock areas are:-

  • Under the bed;
  • Back in the washing basket where you checked twice but they weren’t there before;
  • Stuck to the inside of the washing drum after the other socks have been removed;
  • Under kitchen/utility room appliances;
  • Beyond the perimeter of the clothes airer;
  • Hiding in trouser legs.

As the main principle of socksmosis is that the socks gravitate towards places where socks are not normally found, it is often a struggle to find them. There is no way to avoid this phenomenon except by not wearing socks.

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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Silly, Why?


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