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Unexplained Movement

  1. Aug 30, 2010 #1
    The interesting thread on teacups reminded me of my own unexplained mystery. And, it makes me think how many people will immediately think of ghosts or gods when something strange happens, instead of finding out what is really going on. There could be a whole category for such stories!

    Anyway, I had just moved into a rental house. There was a scrap of carpet matching the stuff on most of the floor, that was apparently meant to go in front of the fireplace for extra protection against dropping burning logs or whatever.

    Without anyone else in the house yet, not even pets, I found that this piece of rug would move on its own. After some hours, it was seen to have shifted position. Furthermore, it creeped with enough force to bunch itself up when it ran into the couch, forming huge folds.

    Any clue what causes this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2010 #2
    Unfortunately, your phenomenon does not fall into the same category of, say, spontaneously moving wet beer glasses on a bar, which can be explained.
    Having no possibility of a natural explanation, I regret to suggest that your phenomenon is unsuitable for this forum.
    You could post this at www.unexplained-mysteries.com
  4. Aug 30, 2010 #3
  5. Aug 30, 2010 #4
    What category? Kitchen vs. living room?

    I hold out hope that someone may have heard of something like this.
  6. Aug 30, 2010 #5
  7. Aug 30, 2010 #6
    I should have phrased my question "Are you walking on the piece of carpet"?

    You do not notice the carpet moving when you walk on it because it moves so little. But over a period of time you notice that it has changed position. I noticed this with one of my rugs many years ago (I lived alone). And just like in the case of the OP, my rug would fold up against the leg of the coffee table.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  8. Aug 30, 2010 #7
    The movement is caused by pressure fluctuation on the top carpet, this is primarily caused by walking on it. The pressure causes the standing fibres of the bottom carpet to bend in one direction, this pressure displaces the top carpet and as the pressure is released the tips of the bottom carpet grab the top and cause it to move.
  9. Aug 31, 2010 #8


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
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    There are also changes in temperature and humidity that can cause expansing and shrinking - producing this 'walking' effect.
    Or is it just a draft down the chimney?
    Try putting some feathers / light paper in the same position.

    I don't think it's a matter of Bell Book and Candle!
  10. Aug 31, 2010 #9


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    Staff: Mentor

    Install a webcam.
  11. Sep 1, 2010 #10
    No, it was not walked on.
  12. Sep 1, 2010 #11
    There was no such thing, at the time. I thought about setting a camera to take exposures once an hour or so (this was still film!) but didn't get around to it before GF and cats moved in too.
  13. Sep 1, 2010 #12


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    Staff: Mentor

    OK, I thought it is a recent development.

    After watching Inception today (fight in the hotel corridor) moving carpets don't look that impossible. Are you sure you were not dreaming?
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