Where do all the Socks go? - 3 Theories

Where do all the Socks go? - 3 Theories

We’re great believers in answering customer questions. In fact we extensively research exactly what is being asked so we can better help our customers understand the fabrics and processes that go into the products we sell.

The reason is simple - the more informed you are the easier it is for you to choose the product that’s right for you.

One of the most common search terms NZ Natural Clothing shows up for is ‘where do all the socks go?’

It costs the average hard working, sock wearing Kiwi a little under $5,000 during the course of a lifetime to replace missing socks so as the question is being asked we thought we’d put forward our 3 favourite theories doing the rounds to address what appears to be a pressing issue for so many people around the world.

Theory 1 - Wormholes in Space

Wormholes - for the non-science fiction fans is a passage through space-time that could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe. The really crazy thing is that wormholes are theoretically possible under the laws of general relativity.

The late - and very great - Douglas Adams theorised in his book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that biros slipped through wormholes - presumably in the linings of sofas, suit pockets and bags - only to arrive on a planet where they could live the bi-roid equivalent of the good life.

This got us thinking that similar tears in time and space could well exist in the seals of washing machines and the linings of laundry baskets.

This would allow those malcontent socks - and even the odd stocking - dissatisfied with their life of sweaty feet and uncomfortable shoes to start quite literally afresh.

Socks and hosiery alike would be able to live a life free from the threat of athlete’s foot, being turned into sock bunnies for the amusement of small sticky children or worn over someone’s head during a bank robbery.

Which - unless the sock is made from Merino wool, it doesn’t sound entirely unreasonable.

Theory 2 - The Eater of Socks

Eaters of socks include gnomes, elves and goblins, depending on which website you visit.

Depending on which site you land on sock gnomes and sock goblins appear to locked in some form of internecine war. Although sites differ on who the villains are.

The majority of sites we found suggest that the sock gnomes are small creatures who steal your socks while you sleep - but of sock goblins, rather unusually, attempt to thwart the gnomes by systematically replacing all the socks the gnomes have taken.

Although one has to ask the question - where are the sock goblins getting their socks from? I suspect this isn’t something that should be overthought.

There’s also the actual Eater of Socks conjured up by another late and great British writer: Terry Pratchett.

In his Dicworld novel The Hogfather he wrote about the Eater of Socks, a small elephant like creature with a flat trunk that roamed unguarded laundry rooms sucking up any sock it could find.

We’re not sure which is worse - the fact that we considered this as a theory or that there was so much information available in the first place.

It says a lot when tiny rips in the fabric of reality is the more plausible of the theories thus far.

Theory 3 - Revenge

There’s every chance that your partner is just simply trying to settle a score or drive you mad.

According to research a very meagre 25% of men actively do the laundry in heterosexual relationships. Which means hundreds of millions of men around the globe are leaving their dearly beloveds to wash their dirty underpants.

It really is of little surprise to learn that a recurring theory is that the socks aren’t missing at all, just simply being thrown out as a small act of revenge by the long suffering girlfriends and wives of men too lazy to wash their own sweaty socks.

This not only seems entirely plausible but disproportionate punishment considering the crime.

Anyone, not just women, would undoubtedly get tired of doing someone else’s laundry week in, week out. Especially when that other person is entirely capable but is just being bone idle.

This isn’t taking into account any laundry produced by children, which significantly increases load and effort and making the help provided by that 75% even worse.

We do have to acknowledge that every household is different and there are relationships where the chores are divided up evenly and the statistics don’t represent those boyfriends and husbands who contribute in other ways.

But on the surface of it, that’s pretty poor.

The Facts

Of course these are just theories. Some pretty far out theories at that.

However in our search for the weird and the implausible we did stumble across something entirely more useful.

Here are some far more likely, engineering and/or science based solutions for where the socks go.

  1. The rogue sock didn’t go in the wash to begin with. It’s either lurking at the bottom of the hamper or was dropped en route.
  2. The sock got swept into the gap around the washing machine’s agitator.
  3. It got stuck in the dryer filter or vent
  4. The sock gets stuck between the tub and drum - before eventually working their way down into the soil pipe and get washed away.
  5. The sock worked its way into another item of clothing or into bedding such as a duvet cover.

We can’t help but think that if a few more people invested in the finest Merino wool socks that socks wouldn’t be victim of disgruntled wives or become disgruntled themselves. Because they’re just too good.

Merino wool socks aren’t just a great investment for comfort, odour resistance and durability but a powerful motivator to get more men doing their own laundry.

For more information about our range of revenge proof* Merino wool socks click here.

*may not actually be revenge proof