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Mysterious, purple spheres found in the desert

Photo by Gerardine Vargas

Mysterious, purple spheres found in the desert

CREATED Jan 30, 2013

Reporter: Liz Kotalik 

TUCSON (KGUN-9) - It was a normal Sunday in Vail for Geradine Vargas. Normal, until she and her husband stumbled upon something kind of weird. 

"We were taking photos around the area and we just.... I mean, how could you miss this?" Geradine said. "It was just like glittering in the sun."

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.

"We did email a friend of ours who's a zoologist, but she didn't know.  I mean, she didn't seem to recognize what it was."

So, she sent KGUN-9 pictures of the spheres, hoping we could find some answers.

We checked out the mysterious spheres for ourselves, and learned they were still there. They're like gooey marbles that ooze out a water substance when squished.  They roll, they shine, and they're out of this world.

Geradine was dying to know what they were, and so were we.

We spoke to Darlene Buhrow, director of marketing at Tucson Botanical Gardens, who's husband is a botanist. He said if these are something naturally occurring, they could be a slime mold or jelly fungus.

We've received tons of calls into the newsroom tonight from viewers who think they are a product like Deco Beads, which are tiny, colored, water-filled spheres that keep plants hydrated. 

But thousands of them? In the middle of the desert?

No one is positive what these spheres are, and for now, all we can say for certain is that they're definitely out of the ordinary.