If a researcher probes the shape of an intricately curved surface by rolling a ball across it, then features that are continually curved but whose curvature radius is smaller than the ball radius may appear in the ball's description of the geometry as abrupt points, barriers and singularities.
If the surface being explored is flexible or elastic, the way the ball is used may affect the reported topology. If the ball is forced into a wormhole mouth that is slightly too small, and the ball and/or throat distorts to allow the ball through, then in the ball's description of the surface, a "new" wormhole connection has suddenly appeared and disappeared again, and the connectivity of the surface has fluctuated in an illegal way.
In this case, no real geometry-change occurs in the deduced shape of the underlying metric – the process identified and "caught" a wormhole candidate (getting the ball wedged in the throat), then modified the curvature of the metric over time, forcing the throat to inflate to dimensions that allowed it to be traversed.
In wormhole theory, the idea of this "quantum foam" is sometimes invoked as a possible way of achieving large-scale wormholes without geometry change – instead of creating a wormhole from scratch, it may be theoretically possible to pluck an existing wormhole connection from the quantum foam and inflate it to a useful size.
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