We all lose socks in the laundry sometimes, don’t we? I do. But where do they go? It’s about as mysteriously unsolved as the Bermuda triangle. Socks are special, though. They just as magically almost always turn up after subsequent launderings. So an equally important question to be asking would be, How do socks ultimately reappear? Well, I think I finally understand.
The first reason no one can seem to figure it out is because we’re all asking the wrong question. (Isn’t that the base of all scientific hypotheses?) We want to know where socks go when we lose them and we want to know where they came from when we find them. The answer, however, is an endless circle. The process is simple. Socks are in the drawer, and then they get worn. Next, they go through the laundry and finally, folded and put back into the drawer. What we should be asking is, How do they get from the laundry to the drawer? That’s where they get lost, and that’s the mystery.
Obviously, not all socks get lost. We’re particularly concerned about the outliers, the few. Relatively few, actually. Look no further than the theories behind wormholes. Wormholes (in theory) can be extremely large like the ones you see in Star Trek, which can send entire space ships careening instantaneously to a different point in the galaxy (or another galaxy). Or, some wormholes (again, in theory) can be smaller than a pinhead, some even scattered around here on Earth.
What if one of those smaller-than-a-pinhead-sized wormholes connects your dryer to your sock drawer? You would never know it. For the sake of theory, let’s say the wormhole in question is really, really, really small. So small that only an object the size of a sock would get sucked through. Then, let’s say the wormhole fluctuates in size, too, so that when it’s not zapping socks around the universe and into your sock drawer, it shrinks to a size too small to affect anything. Lastly, somehow the wormhole is selective. (I’m not sure how, but it only likes socks. I mean, I don’t ever lose my underwear or shirts. Just socks.)
What about time? If a wormhole is whirling my socks instantly to my drawer, how come they aren’t there right after I start the dryer? We’ll just assume that wormholes also bend time as well as space. It might take the sock a half second to zip to my drawer, but in my perception of time, it has been a week.
So Voila! A very loose construction of a theory explaining the mystery of temporarily disappearing socks. Like I said before, it’s just a theory and we might never know if it were true or even possible.
By: S. Cole Garrett