Have you ever wandered into your garden only to find that a large chunk of it is suddenly a lot taller than you remember? Well, that’s exactly what happened to one man in Pennsylvania. His solution? Pop it like nature’s very own zit. What happened next may be the most satisfying thing you’ll ever see.
James Callender is a pastor from Pennsylvania. Born in Parker, he now lives in Cambridge Springs, and he’s clearly a man invested in his lawn. One day, however, he came out to find a surprise awaiting him on his normally perfectly well-kept grass.
There, plain as day in the middle of his yard, was an oddly raised patch of grass. On closer inspection, the bump seemed to behave in a manner similar to a giant bubble, moving in a fashion not unlike a water bed when prodded and poked.
According to Callender, there had been heavy rainfall in the area recently, which is likely what caused the bubble to appear. Indeed, the technical term for the hydrologic phenomenon is a “lawn blister,” and it’s a known issue in lawns and other grassy areas.
Landscapers and gardeners will often combat bad soil by laying a plastic sheet on top of it rather than digging it all out completely. They’ll subsequently lay good soil on top of said sheet and then put turf and plants directly on the new layer.
The bubble issue arises when water finds its way underneath the plastic sheet that’s been used to break up the different soils. Indeed, it’s a phenomenon that’s been known to happen as a result of water lines breaking and liquid spilling under the sheet, causing the “bubble” to build up.
In this instance, though, the bubble wasn’t caused by a broken pipe. It appeared to simply be the result of heavy rainfall that had found its way underneath Callender’s lawn. So, the pastor ventured into his garden to have a look at the strange phenomenon and try to figure out what to do about it.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, Callender can be seen walking around the bubble, evidently sizing it up and wondering what action to take. And then, in a nod to his profession, he says, “I hope it’s not going to turn into Noah’s Ark.”
Using a sharp garden tool, Callender begins poking at the bubble in order to pop it. But while a few drops trickle out, the majority of the water remains inside the mound, refusing to budge.
Callender continues poking it, though, presumably confident that all he’s going to find inside the bubble is water. But the woman narrating proceedings suggests that there may be more to this strange oddity than first meets the eye, joking, “Probably a snake will come out.”
In a last-ditch attempt to get the water out, Callender climbs on top of the bubble, which appears squishy to the touch – like some kind of grassy water bed. And then, with a little more force from his garden implement, the watery hill finally starts to give.
Suddenly, like a massive, grassy zit, the bubble bursts, and muddy water starts pouring out through the hole that Callender created. “That’s what you call an old-fashioned mud puddle,” the narrator notes.
As Callender stomps around barefoot on top of the grassy mound, more and more water is pushed out. And the tiny, muddy fountain doesn’t let up, either. Clearly, this is something that’s going to take a long, long time to drain.
Callender uploaded the video of his crazy, garden water feature to YouTube, where it already has nearly six million views and more than 8,000 comments. K. Reimin, for instance, took the waterbed comparison a little too literally, remarking, “I’d have gladly climbed on it, made myself comfy and would’ve instantly fallen asleep on it.”
Amanda PC, meanwhile, wrote, “It’s like popping a pimple out of mother nature.” And another user disagreed with Callender’s reaction to the strange sight, writing, “I would’ve tried to figure out if I could somehow build up pressure inside so it’d explode.” Well, that would certainly have made for a cool video, too.
This isn’t the first example of this kind of bubble to crop up online, though. Nor, in fact, is it the biggest. You see, most lawn blisters occur on golf courses, where they can reach gigantic sizes. Presumably, this is because of the sheer amount of grass on a course.
For instance, at Greywolf Golf Course in Panorama, British Columbia, a lawn blister formed that reached a whopping 18 inches in height – taller than any actual waterbed. The blister was apparently caused by a broken pipe leaking under the fairway.
That particular bubble didn’t last too long, however, with people constantly stopping to kick at and jump on it. But we can hardly blame them – after all, it does look like a lot of fun. Indeed, it’s almost like a giant, grassy trampoline. Until it bursts, that is.
Still, even if you haven’t come across this peculiar phenomenon before, watching it happen on video is almost as satisfying. Unsurprisingly, then, there are videos all over YouTube of lawn blisters popping up and, of course, subsequently being popped.
Indeed, while the circumstances in which these bubbles arise are fairly specific, they nonetheless seem to be pretty common. So if, like James Callender, you ever wander into your garden to find that it’s seemingly taken on a life of its own, you’ll at least know why. And you can have plenty of fun popping it yourself…