Some similar complaint in Singapore buildings too
HDB= Housing Development Board Buildings
1) When water flow is shut off suddenly, the change in pressure rattles the pipes, which may sound like marbles dropping after distortion through walls.
2) Some pre-fabricated floors used in HDB flats have an embedded high-strength steel cable which can give off creaking sounds when they contract.
3) It is really children playing with marbles
What the HDB says
'HDB flats are designed based on prevailing building codes. Hence, the acoustic properties for flats are no different from other residential buildings. To date, we have not received any feedback on the sound of dropping marbles where there has not been any attributable cause. HDB Sengkang Branch Office, which manages the flats at Punggol Town, has not received any feedback about the sound of dropping marbles in the area.
In Mr Wong's case, we have contacted him and offered HDB's help. We will be checking with his neighbours over the next few days to see if we can locate the source of the sounds Mr Wong mentioned. Madam Shamsuddin mentioned that her eldest son described hearing similar sounds as Mr Wong. If she would like us to look into the matter too, she can contact our Toll-free Branch Office and provide us with her address.
In a high-rise, high-density living environment, a certain degree of noise is inevitable. It would also be in the interest of neighbourliness for residents to ensure that the activities carried out within the flat do not generate excessive noise and to exercise some degree of tolerance towards their neighbours.'
What the readers say
'The pipes of some air-con units make popping sounds. These sounds resemble marbles dropping when they travel through the pipe embedded in walls. Another possibility is that in some old fridges, the compressor makes this noise which can be heard clearly only at wee hours when it's quiet.'
-- MR CHARLES GOH, Founder of the Asia Paranormal Investigators
'I'm quite sure that this 'urban legend' is due to a real social phenomenon: the Singaporeans' love of mahjong.'
-- MR CHRISTOPHER YEO JER SIONG, Chuan Terrace
'Could the sound be attributed to the expansion of a certain type of tiled floor in the much cooler early hours of the morning?'
Charles Goh: Finally the marble dropping phenomena reached its climax when the Straits Times published an article citing the results of an investigation by a paranormal group, SPI, on June 26th.
Edited by Summer3 - 14 June 2011 at 8:07pm