From the Windsor, to half Windsor, it seems unthinkable that there are more than 5 ways to knot a tie. How many must a man know?

Turns out, science has determined that there are tons of ways to knot a tie. And by tons, we mean in the hundreds of thousands.

The previous knot estimate came from a 1999 study which claimed that only 85 tie configurations were possible.

But mathematician Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson was so taken by the knot sported by the Merovingian (above) in the Matrix sequel, he sought out how to recreate it, and cross-referenced it with the list of known knots. He couldn't find it.

Vejdemo-Johansson and his team went about deducing a more accurate number of knots. They arrived at 177,147, all of which you can try out at his random knot generator here.

Of course, good luck remembering all, and nor should you have to. Just remember 3 or 4 configurations. That will do. [New Scientist]