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There’s No Ghost in Your Apartment, Here’s Why You Hear Marbles at Night!



The Marbles Your Upstairs Neighbour Drops Every Night - WORLD OF BUZZ 1
Source: DepositPhotos and Literate Ape
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Every night, you wake up to the sound of marbles rolling across the floor upstairs, though sometimes it sounds like pins being dropped on the floor. You’ve been living in your apartment for half a year now and the sounds are starting to grate on your nerves.

The Marbles Your Upstairs Neighbour Keeps Dropping - WORLD OF BUZZ

Source: Illustrated by Maria Ines Gul

Should you be worried? Do ghosts stay in the apartment directly above you? If you went upstairs and knocked on the door only to see an empty apartment, should you consider contacting an exorcist or moving out immediately?

Well, there’s no need to worry because if you hear marbles rolling across the floor upstairs, that’s actually a good thing! In fact, hearing that sound means your apartment has working water pipes, so you can sleep well at night without having to worry about waking up to water flooding your apartment.

Actually, the sounds happen because of a phenomenon called hydraulic shock, though it’s more commonly known as water hammer, which occurs in water pipes when water flow is suddenly cut off.

Andy Piacsek, a scientist with the Acoustical Society of America suggests that these sounds might be coming from trapped air inside water pipes. As the water flows away or as the air dissipates, the sounds that happen might be altered as it moves through the building.

According to Professor Preston S. Wilson from The University of Texas, if there are pipes running horizontally in the space between your ceiling and the floor of the apartment unit above you, once someone somewhere in the apartment building rapidly turns off a tap or flushes their toilet, the water hammer effect causes the pipe to move from its usual position.

This change in pressure rattles the pipes and creates clanging sounds, which will sound like marbles dropping as the sounds pass through concrete walls. The pipe bounces back up, falls back into place, the sound occurs and the cycle repeats a couple of times, though there is less force each time. Soon, after a few cycles, the force is too small to rattle the pipes so the sounds stop entirely.

The Marbles Your Upstairs Neighbour Keeps Dropping - WORLD OF BUZZ 2

Source: YoMeryl on Tumblr

Besides water hammer, hearing marbles fall might have to do with air bubbles being trapped in the sanitary pipes running all throughout the apartment building. A sudden change in water flow because of water mixed with soap bubbles will create air pockets that will burst and echo through the pipes. However, this usually produces only a single sound.

Since we’ve clarified these weird sounds, we hope it helps you sleep better at night now. Besides, we’re sure ghosts don’t play with marbles nowadays, it’s the 21st century now! 


Also read: Adjusting the TV Antenna & 6 Other Struggles Every M’sian Growing Up in the Early 90s Will Remember!
The Marbles Your Upstairs Neighbour Keeps Dropping - WORLD OF BUZZ 3

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