How Many Holes Does a Straw Have?

(Last Updated On: September 26, 2019)

How Many Holes Does a Straw Have?

Maybe you’re currently enjoying a supersized beverage in a plastic cup? Maybe they just passed a new straw ban in your city or state? Or maybe you just want to further explore a topic that will instantly start arguments with your friends? Regardless, we do know that you’re here because you want to know about holes and straws–and we’re not going to disappoint. So let’s cut to the chase; how many holes does a straw have?

You might also like: How Deep Is the World’s Deepest Hole?

Knee-Jerk Responses

Your knee-jerk response to this question might differ from the person next to you. But we’ve found from the internet that people will generally settle on three arguments.

  • A straw has 2 holes.
    • One at one end, and another hole at the other.
  • A straw has 1 hole.
    • A hole must have an entry and an exit, which are at the ends of the straw. Each hole from the 2 hole argument comes together to make a single hole. 
  • A straw has 0 holes.
    • When someone says there is a hole in something, they mean it is punctured. If you were to be handed a brand new straw, it would not be punctured and therefore have zero holes. 

Defining a “Hole”

Okay, the zero hole argument is a little weird, since it relies on you to forget the fact that a straw is essentially a hollowed-out rod. With the power of the dictionary, however, we can pull out the relevant definitions of a “hole” to help shed a little more light on the topic. A hole is defined as either “an opening through something, an area where something is missing, or a hollowed out space”.

So the first definition presents us some issues, given that a straw can have one or two openings, depending on how you define where each opening ends. So through the power of the dictionary again, we can see that an opening is a point of entry. A straw has two points of entry, therefore two openings. So if you conflate openings and holes, a straw would have two holes. 

The second and third definitions present more issues, given that they don’t return a number of “two”. If you view a straw as a once-solid rod which you then hollowed out, the straw is a single, hollow space. Therefore, it is one hole. Given that there is only one “something” missing, you can kind of throw both definitions into this camp. A straw has one hole.

If you want to pull out geometry (why would you), you may further argue a straw has zero holes. Slicing a straw down its length and unrolling it, you end up with a single, rectangular sheet. This sheet should have zero holes if you want a functioning straw. Therefore, a straw has zero holes. This level of abstraction is just weird, though.

The Zero Hole Straw

Someone out there is going to try and tell us that if you wrap a straw and make the ends meet, you get a torus. It’s all contained, and therefore has zero holes. But really, we’ve spent this whole article ragging on “straws have zero holes,” so we’ll hit this too.

A torus of this type would look like a donut. So it would have at least one hole. You could also call it a really thick straw, we guess.

Since it’s hollow, it would have the single hollowed-out space as we’ve discussed before. This would give it a second hole, though the second one wouldn’t be in the spirit of the holes we’re discussing.

So How Many Holes Does a Straw Have?

We would tend to argue that a straw has one hole. Or rather, a straw is basically one long hole. But at that point, why are we spending so much time debating the technicalities of what a straw is? Just call the darn thing a tube if you’re really averse to using the word “straw”.

Or you could just fight over this one instead–snakes are just glorified straws. Discuss.

Like holes? Have fun picking out the plot holes in movies here

About the Author:

+ posts

Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.