Why do Christmas lights always get tangled up?

Getting into the holiday spirit can be challenging if you’re faced with a tangle of Christmas lights. It seems that no matter how neatly these twinkling threads are each kept. winter, somehow end up in a ball of torment the following Christmas season. So what causes this mangled mess?

In 2007, the researchers published a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (opens in a new tab) (PNAS) explaining what causes this headache-inducing phenomenon. For the experiment, they placed different lengths of rope inside a box and shook it mechanically so that the ropes rattled like a load of laundry in the dryer. They repeated the process more than 3,400 times and noticed that knots began to form within seconds of turning the box. Throughout the experiment, more than 120 types of knots were formed.

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