It's hard to remember a time when I wasn't familiar with the idea that if you put a load of laundry in, you will only get 99.9 percent of it back. A sock must be sacrificed to the laundry gods with every wash. Don't get too attached to anything you wear on your feet.
Well, this tweet from @1SarahRose has brought it to my attention that the old gods are dead, and there's an explanation for everything. Sock theft is just a bug in the system:
These pics are blowing everyone's mind (mine), but it's apparently a fact known to a rare few that most dryers have a space where socks get sucked in. Like, it's just in the design for some reason.
For the folks seeing this who by (small) chance see my reply, check the duct that comes out of the back of the dryer, often a white, large, Slinky-like tube. Comes off and on incredibly easily.— Sleep-Deprived Matthew Frederick (@matthewlive) April 21, 2018
Socks, stuff from your pockets, etc.
Cleaning it will dry your clothes faster, too.
It could probably happen to any small piece of cloth, but socks are most frequently sacrificed. That's good to know!
Even if they don't have the technical explanation, most people recognized the problem:
Woh you found the gateway to the hidden universe, the virtual sock particle bridge— https://mastodon.social/@HongPong (@HongPong) April 21, 2018
Someone even shared how the dryer sucks up your favorite pair of argyles:
But many were still baffled and astonished:
These photos actually don't belong to Sarah Rose. They were apparently taken by a woman named Cathy Hinz, who posted about them on Bored Panda a year ago:
In her original post, Hinz wrote that she and her husband are property managers on home parks, which is where they found this mess:
"Most parks, like apartment complex’s have laundry rooms, ours is no different. Today, my husband got tired of fooling with one of the washing machines that was just not working properly and decided to take it apart, starting with the bottom panel."
"To his shock, this is what he found. Socks, underwear, a credit card… and that is just what was in the bottom of the machine. When he removed the water pump that removes the water from the machine, he found about $7.00 in change."
Hinz did say that they've been doing their job for 25 years, and this is the most extreme thing they've seen (as related to laundry), so it's not like every single washing machine and dryer is crammed to the gills with your missing clothing.
But another woman named Danielle Louise Carr recently discovered her tumble dryer was eating her socks, too, and shared a crazy video of recovering some ruined foot garments on Twitter:
So I've been to blame for loosing socks when actually I was right that the tumble dryer eats them! There's a second filter underneath that socks fall into! Feel free to share so we can reunite long lost socks #mysterysolved pic.twitter.com/4GYxHblnHV— Danielle Louise Carr (@DaniLouise_psnl) March 15, 2018
It doesn't explain all of life's mysteries, but knowing your socks aren't being stolen by secret sock monsters is something of a relief.
Though far less magical.