May 9 recognizes a fun and unique holiday, National Lost Sock Memorial Day. It is time to say “good-bye” to all of the single socks, the ones where their mates have been lost to the unknown.
Where do all the missing socks go? Is there a washing machine heaven? This is a question that people have been trying to solve for many centuries. An answer may never be found to this problem, and life will go on. How sad to have lost such a close-knit friend!
- Lost socks have haunted man since the dawn of time, or at least since the Stone Age when the practice of wearing socks began. People back then most likely used animal skins to cover their stinky dogs.
- Specially designed sandal socks were found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt. These very odd socks were made between A.D. 250 and A.D. 420. There’s a compartment for the big toe and another for the rest.
- The process used to make those red socks is called nålbindning, or single-needle knitting. This time-consuming process required only a single thread.
- The word ‘sock’ comes from the Latin word ‘soccus’ – a loose-fitting slipper worn by Roman comic actors.
- Lost socks can cost you over $300 a year. Misplaced socks are no laughing matter. In 2011, researchers established that the average four-person family will lose 60 socks a year.
- 82% of young men wear odd socks at least once a week
- People who wear mismatched socks are more likely to be married. It’s more common for married people to dress in the dark, in an attempt to avoid waking their spouses. This results in them accidentally wearing socks of subtly different colors.
- A design on the ankle or side of a sock is called a clock. This has been the case since the 16th century, but the origin of the name is uncertain.
- There is a city in China that has come to be known as ‘Sock City’, thanks to its status as the world’s top sock-producing region. Datang is located in eastern China and produces around 40% of the world’s socks. It is estimated that Datang makes enough socks to supply every person on the planet with two pairs each.
- It may encourage you to know that there is actually an established etiquette involved in the color coordination of your ankle-and-footwear. Here’s how it goes:
- Match socks to the color of the shoes, but the sock should be one shade lighter than the shoe.
- Match trousers to the color of the socks, but the trousers should be one shade lighter.
- Other than your scalp and your armpits, the feet secrete more sweat than any other part of your body—up to half a liter a day!
- Socks Can Help You Sleep. Wearing socks increases the blood flow to your hands and feet, reducing your core body temperature quickly and helping you fall asleep.
- In 2018, in the US alone, we purchased over $11 billion in socks.
- 8th century B.C.: The first known socks are made from matted animal hair.
- 1892: The Clothes Dryer is Invented
- 2011: The Lost Sock Calculator is Introduced. Omni Calculator, a Polish company dedicated to solving the world’s problems through math
- 2013: Helping the Homeless. Bombas, is founded, an apparel company that donates one pair of socks to the homeless for every pair purchased.
- British scientists have now started investigating sock loss and have discovered something incredible: we lose an average of 15 socks a year. That’s 1,125 socks over a lifetime!
- ‘Sock Loss Index Calculator’ to work out how many socks you will lose in the future. The formula is:(L(p x f) + C(t x s)) – (P x A)
- L stands for laundry size (number of people in household x frequency of washes)
- C represents washing complexity (types of washes (e.g. black, white) x number of socks)
- P is positivity towards doing a laundry (from ‘I hate it’ to ‘I love it’)
- A stands for degree of attention, so number of precautions taken before a laundry (such as checking trouser pockets or unrolling socks)
Lost socks are a part of pop culture, here are four videos about “lost socks”
1. The Cemetery Of Lost Socks – Personal Belongings, video posted to YouTube by cinamon20.
2. The Department of Lost Socks, posted to YouTube by George Safonov
3. Jack Nicholson’s speech about American men’s strange penchant for losing 400 million socks every year in the movie Heartburn. Posted to YouTube by Movieclips
4. The Truth Behind Your Missing Socks. Posted to YouTube by Sockmonzters
YouTube – see video list