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Science Reveals Why You Always Lose Your Socks In The Laundry

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Scientists may have answered one of life's biggest mysteries: why do socks always end up missing in the laundry?

Did you know that you could lose 1,264 socks in your lifetime? That sounds like a lot of socks but a new research commissioned by Samsung revealed that one individual loses about 1.3 socks per month. In a year, that would be more than 15 socks.

The study on about 2,000 people was conducted for Samsung to introduce its latest AddWash washing machine, which allows individuals to add clothes even if the laundry cycle has started. The scientists who were part of the study also revealed why people lose their socks during wash days.

The study led them to land on a mathematical formula to predict the probability of these socks being left in the spin with odd socks.

Dr. Simon Moore, a psychologist, and Geoff Ellis, a statistician, applied science and mathematics to discover factors that contribute to missing socks.

They found that the major factors leading to missing socks were the division based on color or temperature requirements, the complexity of the washing load including the way laundry batches are divided, and the number of socks in each laundry cycle.

They devised a mathematical formula, taking into consideration a number of factors:

Sock loss index = (L+C) - (P x A)

The letter "L" means laundry size, "C" means washing complexity, "A" means the degree of attention, and "P" equals the positivity towards doing laundry. The higher the number computed, the higher the likelihood of losing socks.

A number of other practical reasons cause people to lose their socks during wash days. Interviews revealed that some of them include socks falling under furniture or behind the radiator, being separated from their pair, being added to the wrong colored clothes, and falling off the washing line.

Other findings of the study show that 55 percent of missing socks are those which are colored. People in the Midlands have the highest amount of lost socks with 1.64 socks going missing every month.

The video below shows the science and mathematics to losing socks.

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