SciShow: why do joints pop and crack?

The bones do not come in direct contact with each other in your body, but instead and articular cartilage provides the link. These articular cartilage are kept lubricated by synovial fluid which is generated by the synovial membrane.this membrane covers the articulate cartilage.

When you pop and crack your joints then you pull your bones away form each other. That forces the synovial membrane to expand and thus the synovial fluid from inside experiences decreased pressure and gases dissolved in it, carbon dioxyde and oxygen, will be released as gases inside the fluid.

The pop you hear is the bubble forming inside the synovial membrane. We do not have conclusive data to know if the bones popping and cracking is dangerous.

See the entire system that keeps your bones together: the articulate cartilage is surrounded by the synovial membrane which generated synovial fluid that fills in the gaps in there. This way the bones to not touch directly. the ligamets are used to squeeze or stretch the muscles and simply go over the synovial membrane.

See image:

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