von Willebrand factor (VWF) is amongst others synthesized by endothelial cells and stored as ultra-large (UL) VWF multimers in Weibel-Palade bodies. Although UL-VWF is proteolysed by ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin-like and metalloprotease domain with thrombospondin type-1 motif, number 13) on secretion from endothelial cells, in vitro experiments in the absence of ADAMTS13 have demonstrated that a proportion of these UL-VWF multimers remain anchored to the activated endothelium. These multimers unravel, bind platelets, and wave in the direction of the flow. These so-called VWF "strings" have also been visualized in vivo, lining the lumen of activated mesenteric veins of Adamts13(-/-) mice. Various studies have demonstrated the extraordinary length of these VWF strings, the availability of their platelet binding and ADAMTS13 cleavage sites, and the possible nature of their endothelial attachment. VWF strings are also capable of tethering leukocytes and parasite-infected red blood cells. However, the majority of studies have been performed in the absence of ADAMTS13, a condition only experienced in thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. A normal functional role of VWF strings in healthy persons or in other disease pathologies remains unclear. In this review, we discuss some of the puzzling characteristics of VWF strings, and we debate whether the properties of VWF strings in the absence of ADAMTS13 might be relevant for understanding (patho)physiologic mechanisms.