Pile of hydrogel appears in the desert

A pile of watery marble-like objects are found in the desert. No one seems to hit on the obvious answer…

Mysterious, purple spheres found in the desert – KGUN9.com.

Thousands of tiny, purple-hued spheres piled in the middle of nowhere.

“It’s just one of those things that you’ve never seen before.”

They were watery, some where translucent, and the pile was completely isolated. Gerardine was amazed, and she wanted answers.

The news team has a video at this link where they totally miss some obvious issues with this. First, they suggest this is in the middle of nowhere but it’s off to the side of a well-paved road, on what looks like an area that vehicles can easily pull off. They also want to believe it’s some living thing like a fungus. Fungus in the dry, hot desert? Nope.

It’s clear what these are likely to be. We’ve seen them before. Hydrogel.

An update to the article does note that many viewers called in to say it was water-storing Deco Beads. Hoo-rah. Someone knows!

Last year (on the same date, as pointed out by Who Forted? Magazine), a similar event occurred in the U.K. when blue spheres were found after a rain. Doubtful News was quick to guess that it was hydrogel balls. Indeed testing showed it indeed consisted of sodium polyacrylate, an absorbent polymer. These are super-absorbant materials that are used in diapers, absorbant pads and in agriculture uses.

Had I to make a best guess about how this purple pile got there, they were dumped. Perhaps the dry material inadvertently got wet and was dumped by a truck transporting materials. Or it was spilled. Weird, but no big deal.

blue hydrogel beads

blue hydrogel beads

  2 comments for “Pile of hydrogel appears in the desert

  1. DrJen
    January 31, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    If I were to try to create some random pile of interest, it would probably involve pretty hydrogel surprise stuff!

  2. February 1, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    We used these at the last College of Curiosity conference, and some of the dust from the package got left outside on a table. It did take a few minutes to realize what was going on after a rainstorm.

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