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this_velvet_glove's avatar

Where do all the lost socks go?

Asked by this_velvet_glove (1142points) July 29th, 2012

Do they run away, or the washing machine eats them?

I think my cat might be a sock thief :p

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21 Answers

bookish1's avatar

In college, I used to think there was a sock goblin, because I always lost one sock every time I did my laundry! I haven’t lost any in a while, though, so I think the sock goblin didn’t follow me! Maybe your washing machine needs an exorcism.

this_velvet_glove's avatar

@bookish1 Even the sock goblin needs vacation once in a while!

Haha :p there’s a sock eating demon in my washing machine!

creative1's avatar

I used to keep a small laundry basket for all the single clean socks to have a sock party and everytime I did laundry I would go through looking to see if any of the missing socks came back but all I seemed to do is add more to the party. Very rarely I would locate a match from the party. I am with you there is a sock goblin somewhere.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

My theory is that the sock goblins don’t live in the washing machine, but in the dryer. Maybe all of that lint in the trap is the ‘crumbs’ from a sock meal. The reason for this theory is that every time I do laundry at the SO’s house, which doesn’t have a dryer, we never end up with a missing sock.

bookish1's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer : Good theory! Crumbs from a sock meal, ROFL. When my (ex) girlfriend used to do laundry at my place, she would routinely lose panties in the lint trap! It was the strangest thing.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@bookish1 Maybe that was her way of marking her territory…your place, not the dryer. :)

bookish1's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer : No, she marked her territory in other ways ;) And she only ever had like 6 pairs of underwear so she’d get real frustrated when I told her a day after she left that she had forgotten 2 pairs at my apartment, haha.

Blackberry's avatar

I actually break into people’s houses and steal single socks. We have an entire network that expands to most of the North American continent.

Expect us.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Blackberry You don’t need to break into my place. They are all stored in a shoe box in the linen closet, and I’d be more than happy to mail them to you.

ragingloli's avatar

They go to hell because they have not accepted Jesus.

ucme's avatar

Mitt Romney’s head, because his face looks like a foot.

Sunny2's avatar

Look behind the dryer. They’re having a hoedown!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Here is another theory. Maybe they have run off to some sock puppet group in order to seek a new life. Sort of like humans running off to join the circus.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Demons and Gremlins? Pfah! Please allow science to explain…

This phenomenon can largely be explained by the quantum fluctuations that take place within your dryer. As your socks tumble dry the reaction, primarily but not solely, between the dryer sheets, the electrical capacitance of the socks, and the dryer itself interact at the quantum level. When the conditions in the environment surpass a certain limit (defined uniquely for each space at each specific point in time), the interaction builds with increasing exponential force causing the atoms within the most susceptible socks – which are rarely of the same pair due to differing state vectors described in Hilbert space – to enter simultaneous superposition. The effect of this state causes the sock occupy two distinct places in space at once. However this superposition is unable to be sustained and, due to the energetic nature of the dryer the “new” spacial coordinates of the sock are more stable and therefore become it’s single point of presence as it leaves the superposition state.

A similar theory using the same basic principals says that that the final position of the sock need not always reside in our common three dimensional space but rather in higher dimensional spaces currently beyond our ability to investigate. But I’ll leave that explanation to the string theorists.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Into the hozone layer.

Berserker's avatar

Every time this subject comes up, I’m more and more convinced that Stephen King should write a short horror story about lost socks. They probably go and become the children of the corn or something.

gondwanalon's avatar

Yes socks do have a sinister side to them. But I have discovered their evil doings. It is so simple really. They hide inside of the other clothes that are simultaneously being washed or dried. Several times I have discovered their hiding places such in a shirt sleeve, pant leg etc. They may hide out for long periods hanging up in closets or in drawers. They may never be discovered be me at least because sometimes donate my clothes.

creative1's avatar

I have always wondered if when you die if you were good in life they hand you basket of all your missing socks that were all matched up.

flutherother's avatar

The US Government Accountability Office estimated that half a billion American socks went missing in just one year, 2007. They are discussing setting up a special sock finding unit to deal with the problem. Just send them your odd socks and they will try to match them up.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The all migrate to california.

Sockramento, to be specific.

Sunny2's avatar

Oooooh @elbanditoroso Very good!

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