Fun Facts About Rope

Fun Facts About Rope

Everything from languages to objects got started somewhere...even rope! Here are some crazy bits of information that you may or may not have known about rope:

Tips and Tricks


When a knot is tied in a rope, the place where the knot is created becomes the weak point:

  • This occurs because of the rope being crushed and rubbed against itself or the item it is knotted around. The fibers become damaged and weak. A rope can be weakened up to 60% when a knot is tied depending on the type of knot used.

There are some simple tricks to loosening a stubborn knot or creating a more secure knot:

  • A stubborn knot can be taken a part easily by rolling it between your palm and a hard surface like a rock or countertop. Soaking the rope in water can also help with loosening the fibers making it easier to untie. Water also helps secure the knot better than tying it when it’s dry – soak the rope in water and cinch the knot before letting it dry completely.

Interesting History

Rope was used as a written language for the Inca’s:

  • Record keeping for the Inca’s was done by using rope and knots, this is also known as “khipu” or “quipu” in the Peruvian form. Keeping track of records would include have a long rope with thinner ropes hanging from it. These ropes would have up to hundreds of thin ropes tied to them, and some of them would be dyed in colors.
  • Besides record keeping, it is theorized that Inca’s used rope as a written form of language since they do not have any other known form of writing down narratives like other civilizations. China had also used rope for keeping track of records, but their form of record keeping was less intricate than that of the Inca’s which led to a wider belief that Inca’s used rope for writing narratives and information.

Fossilized rope has been found:

  • A ship called the Mary Rose sank in 1545 during a battle with a French fleet, and a piece of rope was found on board the ship and was preserved.

Fossilized Rope


  • There was another fragment of rope (more than likely a two-ply laid rope that was around 7mm in diameter). It was found in a cave called Lascaux. Lascaux is in the Vézére Valley in southwestern France. The rope itself dates back to about 17,000 years ago.

Rope Vocabulary

Themed Vocabulary Image

Mystic knot:

  • More widely known as the figure eight knot or knot of eternity. It is made up of six other infinity knots and is supposed to be a charm that brings luck.

Bitter end of a rope:

  • A bitter end refers to the working end of a rope that is supposed to be tied off to a bitt, which is a form of fastening found on docks.