07 June 2005

The Mystery Of The Midnight Solitary Marble

There has recently been quite a bit of talking on several forums* talking about hearing marbles dropping and bouncing in the middle of the night. This applies mainly to those who stay either in HDB flats or private high-rise apartments.

I have to say that I too, have experienced this in my apartment as well.

It is always the sound of that one solitary marble that goes "Teck......      Teck.....      Teck...     Teck... Teck.. Teck.. TeckTeckTeTeTeTeTeTeTe........" rolling to a silent stop.

The sound always resonate from above and never from below.

When we think of marbles, we think of kids playing with them. However, several questions come into mind throwing the proverbial spanner in the works of thought.

1) What the hell is a kid doing up and playing marbles in the middle of the night (sometimes as late as 3am in the morning) ?

2) Do kids still play marbles these days?

Seriously, I don't think it's the kids playing and dropping that solitary marble... and no I don't it's the adults playing and dropping that solitary marble at 3am either.

Lagi strange thing is that I am not the only one to encounter this. Judging from the response from the various forums, there are quite a handful of people who also noticed the "solitary marble" phenomenon.

Are there that many people out there bouncing marbles in the middle of the night?

Some suggest reason of a supernatural nature but the skeptic in me thinks otherwise. Surely, there must be a more credible answer. No?

So far, the most plausible explanation, is that the sound comes from the contractions of the steel rods between the floors and walls, as a result of the lowering of temperature at night. We don't hear it in the evenings because of the ambient noise e.g. TV, people activities, etc. that drown the sound of contractions which is why we only hear the "marble noise" loud and clear in the dead of night.

Still, it baffles me as to the rhythm of this "teck teck" sound. It is the very same rhythm of a dropped solitary marble bouncing to a stop. If the explanation of the contracting rods holds true, then the similarity of the "teck teck" sound is really uncanny.

Coincidence? What do you think?

Ahh... the mysteries of our daily living...

* Quicks to the various Forums: SPUG, Togoparts.

- Voxeros

1. Meepok left...
Tuesday, 7 June 2005 1:43 pm
great blog. I've keeping track of this in the ST forum as well. I think there is no good explanation. It will remain an urban legend like Ah Lians who can speak good England.
2. ei|een left...
Tuesday, 7 June 2005 4:09 pm ::
i've experienced this so many times, its become something of a norm. so much so that at times, i don't even realise its happening anymore. just one of those things that "happens". and i've even heard it occasionally in the daytime as well.

someone once explained it to me. something like there are spirits and the contractors put marbles in between the floors when they are building flats to let these spirits play with. appease them so they don't disturb us.

true? i don't know. but all i know is that it is a common phenomenon in singapore. almost everyone has heard it at least once or twice.
3. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 7 June 2005 4:14 pm :: 
MeePok: I actually don't mind the creaking and cranking noise in the house. The thing about this sound that bugs me is the uncanny resemblance to that of a bouncing goli.

I lived on the 19th floor and my upstair neighbour is an elderly childless couple. Don't tell me Ah PeK par goli har?

ei|een: Assuming that there are spirits and that we are indeed giving them goli to play so as not to disturb us. Think about it, aren't they still disturbing us by bouncing the marble in the dead of night?

This spirits literally si nong kia..... nah beh...

4. anna left...
Tuesday, 7 June 2005 11:24 pm
Your contraction theory is plausible. I've heard "teck teck teck" before but never put much thoughts to them .... Wonder why?
5. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 8 June 2005 1:22 am :: 
anna: Why ah? Maybe you thought it was your bed post rhythmically tapping against the wall? *don't hit me!*

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