Finally, scientists have focused on what truly matters!
Now we don't have to spend our entire lives wondering why our shoelaces just seemed to have always come untied. A team of mechanical engineering grad students at the University of California Berkeley have specifically studied its mechanics to finally save humanity.
It was simple: they just had to film a slow-mo video of somebody running on a treadmill until the shoelace comes untied. The footage was then used to analyze how the knot was failing.
Turns out our feet hit the floor seven times the force of gravity which loosens and tugs on laces like an "invisible hand". Add it up with the force of our swinging legs, the knot can be undone with just as little as two strides once it is loose. They also further confirmed that acceleration on the free ends of the knot while running makes it fall apart even more quickly.
Study co-author Christine Gregg said in a press release
that "the interesting thing about this mechanism is that your laces can be fine for a really long time, and it's not until you get one little bit of motion to cause loosening that starts this avalanche effect leading to knot failure."
But why on earth would these brilliant engineers look into this seemingly small problem? Well, as study co-author Christopher Daily-Diamond said, "When you talk about knotted structures, if you can understand the shoelace, then you can apply it to other things, like DNA or microstructures, that fail under dynamic forces. This is the first step toward understanding why certain knots are better than others, which no one has really done."
While the its application to DNA may take quite a while to discover, at least you now know why your perfectly tied shoelace suddenly betrayed you mid-run and made you trip in front of that good looking girl/guy or even just before the finish line.