This popular video of weird jiggly grass in Russia looks cool, but what is it really?

So this is weird.

The ground in Russia is ... jiggly?

GIF from Siberian Times/YouTube.


This video was posted on July 20, 2016, on the Siberian Times' YouTube page. And as of this writing, it's had over a million views, probably because it's a super weird and curious phenomenon.

So what the heck is going on? Is this an optical illusion? A mass of jelly under the grass?

Basically, this piece of ground is the Earth's equivalent of a giant water bed.

Though the video's title calls it a methane bubble, this Wired article is on point in its declaration that we're basically seeing the Earth's version of a giant water bed.

Up that far north, the ground often freezes solid for months. Some of the ground actually never melts at all and is known as permafrost. In the summer, when the top layer of ground thaws, some of the water can get trapped between the deeper permafrost layer and vegetation (like this grass), forming the wiggly, jiggly mass you can see in the video.

The video was made by two Russian researchers, Alexander Sokolov and Dorothee Ehrich, during a research trip to the remote Bely Island above the Arctic Circle. There, they found 15 of these mysterious patches.

This isn't the only weird thing happening on the tundra, by the way.

Though we usually only hear about the tundra on shows like "Ice Road Truckers," there have been some pretty cool findings there lately. For example, scientists recently found several mammoths, wooly rhinos, and other extinct animals.

Mammoth skeleton from Siberia. Photo from Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images.

We've even been able to revive ancient, frozen plants and giant viruses.

Also, did I mention that there are explosions and flammable lakes?

Yeah, there are explosions and flammable lakes.

GIF from University of Alaska Fairbanks/YouTube.

Remember how the jiggly-grass video was labeled as a methane bubble? Turns out that the methane bubbles idea isn't so far-fetched.

When frozen soil thaws, microbes in the soil start eating it and kind of poop out methane, a flammable gas. Sometimes it bubbles up naturally (the Russian scientists detected some methane in their water beds, for example), but sometimes it gets trapped under the soil or under lake ice. And if too much pressure builds up, it might pop like a giant balloon.

These weird phenomena may become more common in the future.

Generally, there's a natural rhythm to the seasons. And these weird happenings are, to some extent, just natural things that happen in the tundra.

But there is also evidence that, thanks to climate change bringing bigger and bigger thaws each year, more and more stuff might change.

For example, we've built a lot of our infrastructure, like buildings and oil pipelines, on frozen soil. If that melts, those structures might fall apart. Also, that methane that can bubble up? Yeah, turns out it's a greenhouse gas, just like carbon dioxide, which is pretty bad for the environment.

This jiggly grass could actually be kind of an important sign. One patch by itself isn't bad, but because more earthy water beds could be tied to global warming, we should definitely keep an eye on them.

Basically, if we can slow down climate change, we can keep the natural rhythm of the seasons going strong. Hopefully, that'll also keep our random jiggly wiggly water beds and exploding lakes in check.

Watch the full video of the grassy water bed below:

Photo courtesy of Macy's
True

Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pixabay

Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

Keep Reading Show less