Grass Waterbeds – The Hydrologic Oddity Known as Lawn Blister

Apparently, lawns get blisters too. Huge ones that you can jump on, use as a grass waterbed, or punch a hole into if you want to see fluid oozing out. You probably have no clue what I’m talking about, so you might want to watch the video first.

In June 2012, the weird phenomenon was noticed in Portland, Oregon, in the backyard of a store. Luckily, the store owner was able to capture a video and post it on YouTube. “Found this out behind our store during a customer appreciation party with live music,” he wrote in the description.

Photo: Greywolf Turf Care

The story was reported on CBS news and one commenter, “panacam” was able provide a likely explanation: “Depending on where exactly this is, often times, landscapers will lay down plastic sheet on bad soil then plant sod on good soil laid on the plastic. If this is the case, a water line may have broke and now you have water under the plastic liner, hence the bubble. If it’s not liquid, natural gas could also be the cause. The safe bet is though, there is a plastic liner under the sod and whatever is under the liner has caused the bubble.”


It turns out that this explanation is quite plausible. This isn’t the only case of ‘grass-boils’ posted on the internet. The phenomenon is common on golf courses, where the blisters are really huge. One of the most impressive blisters was reported by Greywolf Golf Course – an 18 inch high monstrosity that formed “because of a pipe that broke under creeping bentgrass on our fairway that has too much thatch.” Greywolf has a put up a video of the humungous blister popping.

There are tons of videos on YouTube where people jump on these lawn blisters, stamp on them, and poke them with golf clubs. They’re all fun to watch, so be sure to check them out!

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