Phenomena

Why Do Joints Pop?

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Joint popping is one of those things some people revel in and others detest. What you may not have realized, though, is that fluid dynamics are responsible for the sound. Joints contain a non-Newtonian liquid called synovial fluid to lubricate them. When you manipulate the joint to stretch it, pressure in the fluid drops and gases dissolved in the synovial fluid are released, forming a cavitation bubble. The creation and collapse of this bubble are what cause the audible popping. (Video credit: SciShow)

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