I A glass and bottle of water moving on their own

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Summary
How can a half full bottle of water and half full glass of water move on their own accord?
Hi all. I'm a bit confused. I was lying in bed last night - on one side of a very big bed, not moving. When all of a sudden I heard a big crashing sound of things moving and falling. I switched the light on and on the bedside cabinet on the opposite side to me, a half full bottle of water and a pint glass half full of water had fallen off and were both on the floor. A little freaked out by this as I hadn't moved at all. I was well over a metre away, there was no gust of wind or any kind of vibration nearby. Can anyone explain this under the laws of physics? I'm beginning to doubt my sanity!
 

sophiecentaur

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Scary!
I have seen a glass move, apparently of its own accord on a polished surface. If the bottom of the glass was wet (recently filled) and if there was a bubble of air trapped underneath then an increase in room temperature could expand the air and lift the glass enough to let it slide downhill. Check the table top is level (use the water level or use a ball bearing). That could be an explanation.
Good luck ghost hunting.
 
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Scary!
I have seen a glass move, apparently of its own accord on a polished surface. If the bottom of the glass was wet (recently filled) and if there was a bubble of air trapped underneath then an increase in room temperature could expand the air and lift the glass enough to let it slide downhill. Check the table top is level (use the water level or use a ball bearing). That could be an explanation.
Good luck ghost hunting.

Thanks Sophie. It was late at night so the air temp probably would have dropped. The surface is totally level....eek! I don't like it!!
 
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rats
pretty sure it's not rats! Although they would preferable to a poltergeist!
 
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Bottle:
Capped tightly? Carbonated? How long at room temperature? Material (plastic, glass, insulated, etc)? Distance from glass? Distance to table edge? Flat, dimpled, or ridged base?
Glass:
Material? Capacity? Time last moved? Distance to edge of table? Touching bottle? Diameter/height ratio? Base configuration?
Room:
Humidity? Changing up/down? Temperature? Dewpoint? Air pressure up/down?

Not that an answer is possible, but more information is wanted before guessing.
 
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pretty sure it's not rats! Although they would preferable to a poltergeist!
I experienced something similar about 2 decades ago. My newlywed wife and I lived in an apartment at the time (no pets [or rodents for that matter]) in an aseismic region. We had an entertainment system with speakers on either side. The system was not turned on. Each speaker had several books propped up and 1 qt glass canning jars filled with marbles were used as bookends. I'm a heavy sleeper and usually do not wake from noises, but after a loud crash and the sound of glass breaking I stirred awake. Upon inspection, the books where one jar served as a bookend were still upright, and a light dust ring 3-4 in. on three sides of the jar, still showed where the jar sat prior to crashing to the ground. The other jar remained unmoved. I have no explanation for it.
 
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Multistory buildings have a native frequency (hum), even in the cellar. Depending upon the positioning of your glass objects (e.g. over a beam) this could transfer mechanical energy to the night-stand or speakers (resonant amplification possible?). Combined with moisture (previous post), or dust (observation of rings), a slight incline, and time, et voila, crash, bang, boom, in the night, no poltergeist required.
 

DaveC426913

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As others have mentioned, glasses sitting in a small puddle of water of their own condensation can spontaneously slide around. I've seen it myself. It can be freaky.

This is not the only possible answer, but it is probably the simplest.
 

russ_watters

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As others have mentioned, glasses sitting in a small puddle of water of their own condensation can spontaneously slide around. I've seen it myself. It can be freaky.

This is not the only possible answer, but it is probably the simplest.
Yep, it's probably this. There's videos on youtube showing/explaining it.
 
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My wife & I were at a local Asian restaurant and the stainless steel teapot started moving around on the formica table top. Spooky. I think the table was damp from being wiped down, and it may have been a bit off-level. I'm sure the hot tea had some part to play as well.
 

DaveC426913

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I'm sure the hot tea had some part to play as well.
Definitely. The air under the teapot would have been heating up and expanding, pushing its way out around the rim.
 
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dust (observation of rings),
I did consider this. The apartment was two stories (so technically "multistory"), but I assume that a mechanical transfer mechanism that would otherwise go unnoticed by other senses would likely be passive and slow moving. The fact that the books were still upright leads me to believe that the surface was relatively flat (e.g. heavy speaker). If it were a slow-moving mechanical transfer mechanism I would think that the dust ring (albeit light [I'm pretty tidy]) would show a trail or disruption of some kind if the jar scooted on it's own.

But... just because I'm not familiar with an infrasonic source that transfers mechanical energy relatively quickly doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Does anyone happen to know of such a source?
 
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"any kind of vibration nearby "
Humans are not very sensitive seismometers.
We were 6400 km away from the 27-Oct-2012 7.8 magnitude Haida Gwaii earthquake
All of the pendant lamps in the home began swaying in time with one another around 9:10 MDT, but nothing else noticeable was occurring.
My uncle from the Netherlands asked what was happening.
For sh!ts and giggles, off the cuff, I said "an earthquake probably!"
Went home and turned on the news at 11 PM to find out that it had been an earthquake -- a very, very distant one.
Resonance is a funny thing.
Trains, Harley's, planes, choppers, big trucks--they all create vibration that propagates farther from source than you might think. If something gets resonant with that vibration, it can seem like poltergeists are moving it -- like all the pendant lamps did that night.

Inquire with the USGS if there was a seismic event that night.
 
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A washing machine on fast spin?
That would certainly do the trick, LOL! I wonder how many times washing machines have mistakenly been attributed to the paranormal?
 
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Unfortunately I do not remember the exact date, otherwise I would certainly look it up on USGS. Thanks for the information!
 

WWGD

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That would certainly do the trick, LOL! I wonder how many times washing machines have mistakenly been attributed to the paranormal?
My clothes came out spooky clean last time. All white, even ones that were originally red! ;).
 

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