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Where Do Missing Socks Go?

By Edited Aug 18, 2016 4 7

Have Your Socks Disappeared?

Just yesterday morning, I opened my sock drawer to find no socks.  Just a bunch of single socks laying around with no rhyme or reason.  I knew I had just done the laundry a few days ago, so I thought I should have some.  Where had all my socks gone?

Well, at first my son thought it might be the sock fairy.  Since we tell our children stories about the tooth fairy coming and taking away their teeth in the night, why not have a sock fairy who comes and takes away a single sock in the night?  The only problem was, there were no quarters anywhere in my sock drawer.  I had my son check!

Then we thought it might be monsters, like the monsters from Monsters Inc.  Maybe they decided sock power was better than scream power, so they snuck through the closet at night and stole single socks.  But we have monster spray, so that didn't seem likely either.

So where did the socks really go?

Where Did They Really Go?

So what did we do next?  Obviously our hare-brained theories weren't viable.  Where did those missing socks really go?

I did what all good parents do when they want to find something else and turned to an expert source of information.  The Internet.

Of course, there I found all sorts of harebrained ideas.  It turns out one of the most popular explanation for where socks go is gnomes took them.  Other people imagined that they were sucked into some sort of time-space warp that enabled them to travel to another planet.  Jerry Seinfeld postulated that socks plan their escape.  But among all that fantasy, there were some sources of truth.

The most common reason socks disappear is because your washing machine eats them.  Well, not literally.  But it turns out there's a little space between the agitator that socks can fit into.  Take that apart, and you find your socks.

However, I went to my front loading washing machine and found...no agitator.  This explanation wasn't going to work for me.

So I went and looked again.  It also seems that sometimes socks get sucked down the drain with the water.  I went and pulled back the seal around my washer, and guess what I found?

You guessed it.  A little colony of socks.

Wondering What to Do With Mismatched Socks?

Wear Them!

Mismatched Socks
Credit: Fidelio via Flickr

If you are wondering what to do with mismatched socks, the answer is simple - wear them!  It's the new style these days - they even sell mismatched socks on Amazon.  

We've actually let our kids out in mismatched socks - they've gotten a few compliments.  Of course, there's always the few people who think you are bad parents if your children aren't perfectly coiffed.  But the kids like having their own sense of style!

So even though we lost some socks, we ended up finding them again.  I've also heard of people finding them stuck to other clothes, or in the dryer vent.  I haven't checked there yet, but next time we clean out our lint, I will!



Mar 1, 2013 8:58pm
Flipping awesome! Maybe they run off to join the circus or become sock puppets on the Internet :) Another reason to check the Internet for your missing socks. Maybe the socks found love on the Internet and left their mate for another? Yet another reason to check the Internet.
Mar 1, 2013 11:09pm
Somehow mine end up in the refrigerator.
Mar 1, 2013 11:40pm
Great article, actually I read a lens about this the other day. Amusing. I accidentally went into town one day with odd shoes. They were both white joggers with a black trim only the trims were a little bit different and did not notice it until my husband wondered why my shoes looked funny.
Good article. And yes that is the trend wearing odd socks. Must look in my washing machine now.
Mar 2, 2013 1:26am
Fun! This reminds me of the Whitney Houston song "Where do Broken Hearts Go". Altogether now -
Where do Missing Saaaawks Go
Can they find their way home
Back to the open arms
Of a love that's waiting there
Mar 2, 2013 3:17am
It's not just socks in my apartment many things just disappear...and my apartment is only tiny, one room :-) You may wanna look up this little fellow on the internet " kobalos" Apparently this is a little mythical creature that I think could well be responsible for something such as missing socks ;-)
Nice article!
Mar 2, 2013 5:19pm
Great article! I clean out my sock drawer a few times year and throw the mismatched ones away.
Mar 11, 2013 9:32pm
I have a solution for this problem. I buy all the same socks! This way when I loose one it doesn't matter. I just hang on to the odd sock until I loose another. It also speeds up folding laundry because it does not matter what two sock I put together.
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  1. C. Jeanne Heida "Seriously, Where Do Those Missing Socks Go?." Yahoo. 5/7/2007. 1/03/2013 <Web >
  2. Duane Hoffman "Silly Mysteries Solved." NBC News. 7/08/2009. 1/03/2013 <Web >

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