An extremely important debate is raging online – does a straw have one or two holes?
This is more complicated than you might think.
Put your politics aside, because people are arguing on Twitter over something else for once.
Do straws have one hole, or two?
We had a riveting discussion about this at lunch, but I want to hear from all of you: Does a straw have one or two holes?— Jess Marfisi (@jessdrawz) January 26, 2018
At the time of writing, two thirds of the 85,000 or so people who voted in Twitter user Jess Marfisi’s initial poll thought straws had one hole.
But before you jump to conclusions, let’s take a look at the facts.
straws have one hole. would you say a donut has 2 holes? no. a straw is just a long plastic donut. its not long enough to get away with having 2 holes. humans are long enough donuts to have 2 holes, humans even have several holes. straws are not human length— malin (@c0conutcoke) January 24, 2018
If a straw really is “just a long plastic donut” then it has just one hole, right?
Well, some people were arguing for two holes, and you can see what they’re getting at.
Straws have an entrance and an exit, which could also mean they have two holes.
If we remove straws from the equation completely, what does that leave us with?
If a wall has a door in it, that just counts as one hole, so surely it’s the same for straws?
It gets even more complicated.
What about adding an extra hole in the middle of the straw? Does that change your mind?
If you were to poke a hole in the middle, and blow water into it, you would be blowing water into one hole and it would be coming out of two holes, thus THREE HOLES, thus there are TWO HOLES ORIGINALLY!!!!— GENE! (@genegoldstein) January 26, 2018
This is a discussion that can turn friend against friend, or at least distract everyone in the office for half an hour.
Some people were thinking so far outside the box, they couldn’t see the box any more.
None. A straw is a rolled rectangle pic.twitter.com/wFJaKypiSL— Darth Shazam (@TheHumanShazam) January 26, 2018
They were arguing against the very boundaries of the debate itself.
Okay here's the big thing about the straw debacle, if you take a flat sheet of paper and roll it up and glue it to make a tube, are you saying it has two holes? By that logic if i make a 👌gesture my hand has two holes. The true answer to the question is that a straw has NO HOLES— Jacob Stancliff (@Guyinhats) January 27, 2018
So what is the right answer?
Me trying to figure out how many holes a straw has this morning pic.twitter.com/iucOIl3QkB— Grayson Beressi (@grayson029) January 26, 2018
Well, the Oxford English Dictionary definition of a hole is a “hollow place in a solid body or surface”.
That makes it sound like the empty space within the straw is the single hole, rather than there being one at each end.
Rigid dictionary definitions aside, the truly enlightened concluded that really, there was no right answer.
The straw is one hole with two entrances - but those entrances can also be referred to as holes as a commonly accepted synonym. The problem is linguistic in nature, not mathematical - both sides are correct, within proper framing and context. pic.twitter.com/hSYmxL734r— DDDDAAAAVVVVEEEE!!!!! (@scrotumnose) January 27, 2018
Perhaps we’ll never know the truth.
It is truly one of life's greatest mysteries— Jess Marfisi (@jessdrawz) January 26, 2018