I have come to realize that socks disappear in myriad ways. They disappear behind dressers and underneath beds. Bored children strip them off in the car, then toss them to the graveyard of abandoned Cheerios and whatever is causing that off-putting smell on hot days. I had a cat that enjoyed carting them around and howling like she’d brought home a fresh kill.
And yes, sometimes you’re sure you put a pair of socks into the laundry only to have a single come out the other side. No matter how hard you search for its mate, they are doomed to be separated forever.
Or are they?
Check out this tweet from Sarah Rose, who got the photo from a Bored Panda post by Cathy Hinz.
Her post about what her husband found when he took off the front panel of their washing machine went viral. The Today Show picked it up and ran with it, interviewing GE engineer James Darmstadt. He says that the picture seems like an extreme case, but admits that washing machines can eat your socks if a gasket is damaged.
Not only that, but the new-fangled front-loading washing machines come with a filter attached to the drain pump that can also eat socks (and other small items).
He does say that you should leave opening up your machine to a professional, unless you have some expertise of your own. But if you have a front-loader and want to check that filter, here’s a handy-dandy video.
tl;dr: It turns out you’re not crazy. Not about this, anyway.