Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Scientists solve age-old shoelace mystery


Posted on Wednesday, 12 April, 2017 | Comment icon 15 comments

Why do shoelaces keep unknotting themselves ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Oto Zapletal
A new study has finally determined the reason why our shoelaces keep coming undone all by themselves.
It's one of the most notorious irritations of the modern age - that moment when, looking down at your feet, you realize that your shoelaces have come undone and are flailing all over the place.

Now though, a team of mechanical engineers at UC Berkeley believe that they have finally discovered exactly what it is that causes our shoelaces to untie themselves.

The answer, as it turns out, is a combination of stomping and whipping forces that act like an invisible hand as we walk - loosening the knot and then tugging at the ends until they unravel.

The research however has a broader application than simply helping to keep our shoes tied.

"When you talk about knotted structures, if you can start to understand the shoelace, then you can apply it to other things, like DNA or microstructures, that fail under dynamic forces," said study co-author Christopher Daily-Diamond.

"This is the first step toward understanding why certain knots are better than others, which no one has really done."

Source: Phys.org | Comments (15)

Tags: Shoelaces

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by merlinof2 on 12 April, 2017, 16:53
So this is where my tax dollars for higher education go. I knew what caused the issue back when I was a kid. I'm 62 now. Typical of Berkeley spoiled elites to solve an issue that didn't need solving. Somehow I doubt the explanation of Adidas and Nike sneakers coming untied will provide any insite into
Comment icon #7 Posted by Parsec on 12 April, 2017, 17:51
I for one though it was because of the shoelaces fairies. So to me definitely a useful study.
Comment icon #8 Posted by MWoo7 on 12 April, 2017, 17:53
flip it one more time when you make first knot . . . or toss salt around whatever to keep the fairies out. hhhhhhh so stupid HAHAHA! what's silly is if you say that in public and they think your being serious, #$9 idiots, happens to me constantly, basically I quit tossing jokes out there at parties etc.
Comment icon #9 Posted by seanjo on 12 April, 2017, 21:37
Groan!
Comment icon #10 Posted by Twin on 13 April, 2017, 4:23
I have a pair of shoes with laces made of something very slippery (teflon?) I finally solved the problem. Tie them just right & secure the center of the knot with a nice tight ZIP TIE!!!
Comment icon #11 Posted by paperdyer on 13 April, 2017, 18:16
What else were the mechanical engineers at Berkeley had to do? I thought besides the walking motion the tightness pull of the knot versus the coefficient of friction the shoelace has was also a factor. The smooth shoelaces always seem to undo more then the uncoated textures ones.
Comment icon #12 Posted by South Alabam on 14 April, 2017, 2:03
Make the strings out of Velcro.
Comment icon #13 Posted by James McCraken on 18 April, 2017, 4:59
is...this not like...common sense?
Comment icon #14 Posted by FLOMBIE on 19 April, 2017, 16:00
When you tie your shoes, and you wrap one lace around the other, give it an additional loop, and your shoes will never ever get untied again.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Future ghost on 19 April, 2017, 18:41
Really? Scientists actually studied this? This is something that everyone already knows. Did they run out of important things to study, like curing cancer? Double knot, end of story.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
1962 'thing in the woods' was CIA spy camera
7-26-2017
A mystery spanning over 55 years has finally been solved thanks to newly released CIA documents.
Giant black swan once roamed New Zealand
7-26-2017
Scientists have found evidence of a huge, hulking semi-flightless swan that went extinct 500 years ago.
Time is key to happiness, new study claims
7-25-2017
According to researchers, stressing out over a lack of time is a leading cause of anxiety and depression.
Eden Project UFO revealed as publicity stunt
7-25-2017
Videos and pictures of an alleged UFO over Cornwall have turned out to be part of a promotional exercise.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Augmented reality
Posted 7-26-2017 | 1 comment
A look at a new technology that superimposes computer-generated images over the real world.
 
Redefining the kilogram
Posted 7-24-2017 | 0 comments
How exactly do we define the weight of one kilogram and can it change over time ?
 
Stretchy batteries
Posted 7-23-2017 | 0 comments
Scientists have come up with a way to make batteries and their cases stretchy.
 
Counting to one billion
Posted 7-22-2017 | 1 comment
How long would it take to count to one billion and has anyone ever managed to do so ?
 
Dolphins beach themselves to catch fish
Posted 7-21-2017 | 0 comments
These remarkable dolphins have come up with a unique way to catch themselves a meal.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
My real, true experiences
7-26-2017 | New Zealand
 
Incoming call
7-26-2017 | B.T. Collins Park: Folsom, CA
 
Three knocks woke me up twice
7-26-2017 | Virginia
 
Spider signs
7-21-2017 | Michigan
 
My ancestry is calling me
7-21-2017 | Morgan Hill, Ca
 
I can hear someone
6-27-2017 | Maryland
 
My dead father spoke to me
6-27-2017 | Alabama
 
Is my child predicting our death ?
6-27-2017 | Lincoln Park, MI
 
Craig is here
6-10-2017 | Phoenix AZ
 
We saw the same thing!
6-10-2017 | Pooler, GA
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ