All Socks Go to Heaven: or do They? The Sock Conspiracy Explained

Let’s take a short hiatus from serious matters like the Bee-Pocalypse and Geostorms to discuss the sock conundrum. A tale as old as time, the sock conspiracy has been boggling the minds of scientific theorists ever since the PWMSG (Place Where Missing Socks Go) question initially surfaced during the Enlightenment Era in 1925. At the time, Europeans sought explanations for every phenomenon, including sock disappearance.

For decades, socks have been entering household dryers in pairs and exiting without their mate. Where do all those darn single socks go?


The Black Hole Conspiracy


The mystery of disappearing sock conspiracy has been discussed at length by theorists. A popular belief is that our dryers are actually deep, dark vortexes that swallow up our socks and transport them to a parallel universe. According to research conducted by astronauts Jim Jason and Carla Ferrari, black holes are connected to billions of invisible wormholes (i.e. passages that create shortcuts through the universe) inside people’s homes, so there is a distinct possibility that one of these wormholes is inside your dryer. Furthermore, in one of his public lectures, famed physicist and professor Stephen Hawking joked about the possibility of socks being sucked into black holes as well. Could there be truth behind this madness? Let’s consider the facts.


Time and again, theorists have tried to scientifically explain the connection between our missing socks and black holes. Some deduced that socks are the only article of clothing comprised of dark matter since they are worn on your feet and rarely see the light (much like a black hole). When worn throughout the day, the fabric of your socks will stretch out and as a result, density will become unevenly distributed. The socks will then become charged, one negatively and the other positively. The rotation mechanism in the dryer combined with the dark matter in the sock will cause the negatively charged sock to get sucked in, leaving the positively charged sock behind in our world. Whether or not an alternate universe for negatively charged socks or what some would call ‘a sock heaven’ exists is yet to be confirmed, but I, for one, struggle to accept the absurd notion of this sock conspiracy.


NBC science editor, Alan Boyle, along with some of his fellow theorists, also contemplated this possibility. According to Boyle, while the dryer is spinning, the energetic collisions between the socks cause such an intense static charge that a powerful black hole can actually emerge and suck them into its vortex.



An Alternate Theory: It’s the Government


According to other conspiracy theorists, losing your sock in the dryer is actually a government-orchestrated affair. This theory suggests that the government is somehow ‘stealing’ our socks to boost the economy and propel us to buy more pairs at a greater frequency. Little do they know that wearing mismatched socks has become a style statement, possibly as a result of their foul sock play. Though this theory has been explored to a lesser degree, one can’t help but wonder why so many household essentials seem to consistently go missing for so many people. Consider tupperware covers, bobby pins, and hair ties. Could the government be stealing those as well?


The Truth?


Last year, psychologist Simon Moore and statistician Geoff Ellis unlocked the mystery with a formula they called the ‘Sock Loss Index’, which annihilated these conspiracy theories with math.


(Laundry size (people x frequency of washes) + Complexity (types of washes x number of socks in a week)) + (PxA)


According to their highly complex algorithm, the frequency at which you wash your socks is a major factor, as is the laundry size and the complexity of the wash. If none of this makes sense to you, just remember that the higher the numbers, the likelier it is that one sock will get lost in the bunch.  



Or maybe you just dropped it on the floor.