Seven Color Crystal Boll!

Bolls. I am SO sorry about the blurry images.

Terra and I were at the Festival of the Last Minute, which is really Portland Saturday Market, and during the week before Christmas, it’s open every single day for those last-minute shoppers. We picked up two small gifts for friends of hers from school. Little did we know, the smallest and most inexpensive gift was to give us days of entertainment, despite giving it to it’s intended recipient as planned.

Bolls waiting to “grow up”

The gift in question was labeled “Seven Color Crystal Boll!” a tiny clear plastic packet (maybe 1 1/2 inches by 2 inches) of teeny tiny colored beads. (Sorry, my pathetic point and shoot camera can’t do close-ups, so the images are blurry). This packet is one of the finer examples of languages translated into English that simply don’t cut it. I imagine that the translation was from China. However, this remains firmly in question, since the front of the package states, “Designed in Korea,” but the back of the package counters, “Made in China.” So… if my complaint is with the writing on the package, I may need to take that up with Korea.

Blurry goo globs

As you can see, the small plastic package is brightly colored and many of the phrases are followed by exclamation points, in order to show you how awesome it is. The front of the package says: “Seven Color Crystal Boll! 500g Designed in Korea. OK!! OK!!”

On the back we get instructions. “Product use information:

  1. add water 400g on the product about 4 hours it will grow up
  2. one clear beauty satiety face will grow up
  3. when the flower want to oxygen and nutrition, I will help you too much.

Made in China.  OK!!”

Fine, I’ll admit it: Terra and I had to look up satiety. We even used the audio option on to figure out how to pronounce it. Fine KOREA!! Just USE an English word I don’t know. Be that way.

Question: use less water than the weight of the packet itself? Just wondering. My scales for measuring grams are still packed…

And, um, instruction 3.? Honestly, I am not satisfied with anything my poor brain imagines is the intended meaning here. Are the beads lucky? What flower? Oxygen?

We could not stand the raging curiosity any longer, and discovering a small note on the side “this flap to open,” we realized there was no other option but to confiscate a few tiny bolls for our own use. We unstuck the sealed flap, poured out six bolls, and resealed. (Timmy will never know)

Terra dripped water onto the bolls in a small pyrex dish. Since I have no concept of grams other than knowing they are individually small, I can’t tell you how close we matched the instruction of 400g of water. We sat back to watch them grow up. First they get fuzzy/gooey on the outside, sorta like frog eggs that molded before they got a chance to turn into pollywogs. And yes, in about 4 hours, we had six jelly globs, less firm than eyeballs, but eyeball-like.

sparkling, eyeball-like, crystal bolls

The woman who sold them to us told us they would last forever. Just let them dry out, and they will turn into beads again. Or, bolls, excuse me. Its several days later and we still have six multicolored eyeballs in a pyrex dish in the kitchen.

50 thoughts on “Seven Color Crystal Boll!

  1. You’ve got to bust open the rest of the package. There has to be a clear beauty satiety face and a flower in there somewhere. And I really want to see who comes to help you (and what type of excessive help is offered!) when flower want to oxygen and nutrition.

    I’m sorry but Timmy is going to have to give it back and sacrifice his gift for the greater good.

  2. April, of course! Happy to oblige.
    Kim, one of the bolls is a flower! You must be right. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that, because I assumed there would be a beauty satiety face. Sooo, maybe when the flower starts to dry up into a boll again, help will be offered? I wish I knew what “too much” help would be. We may not want that.

    You are right, we are going to have to get that gift back from Timmy.

    1. So glad to find this post, I saw a plastic bag full of these packets laying in a thrift store, the girl charged me a quarter for the whole bag full… having only the instructions on the packet πŸ˜‚ I was intrigued, and a little scared, but I added water..and there they were.. so I came to google. I am in love with these bolls!

      1. Ha ha ha!! I love that you bought them anyway, and that you found my post. It is such an old post with terrible blurry photos, but it remains a number one for popularity. I think there must be lots of people like you out there wondering what the heck these little bolls are. Yay for adventure and discovery!

  3. Funny that you are having this conversation today, as I found a small packet of beads with the same instructions that had been given as a gift to me earlier this year. I too placed a few in some water to see what would happen, and then had to look in the dictionary to know what satiety is (seriously) and then continued to google until I found that they are actually a soil replacement! You fill them up with water and they help your plant grow, as they contain nutrients! They will stay hydrated up to 2 months, but you can add more water (as you already know since they last forever) and they provide nutrients for about a year. The one site I found did caution that water hungry plants such as bamboo may need a little extra water in the bottom of the container. Good luck growing you “bolls” and hopefully a plant too! As for me – I’m still looking for the clear beauty satiety and flower that want to oxygen and nutrition!

  4. Thank you photolotus! It’s a helpful product, then, and one that makes sense in practice, but also makes some sense of instruction 3., which had me baffled. I believe the woman who sold them to us didn’t know they could be used for plants – funny.

  5. Ha! I love it! And to make even better, when I finished reading this post I noted that one of the (automatically generated) possibly related post categories was “Fairy Balls.” Who knew? I always thought fairies were girls . . .

  6. hi, I’ve got these bolls, beeds, whatever.
    what you do is, you put them in a vase or something, with floweres or a plant, and they water the plant, for you,[search them up on google] I think they also give the plant nutrision [did I spell that right?]!!!!!
    p.s. the stay big for quite a while!!!!!!!!

  7. I bought a few packets of BOLLS in Miami Beach. They are excellent for Orchids which don’t need soil. spray orchid food on the bolls. You can put them under the orchid like a humidity tray. Of course I overpaid, $5.00 a packet, but these are very cool.
    Don’t make fun of you are not enlightened.

  8. Its a replacement for soil. You grown whatever plant you want in it and the crystal soil will feed and water your plant for you. You need to add water to them ever 2 months or so and they need to be replaced after a year because after a year they run out of nutrients.

  9. This is awesome! I just got a bag of these included with something I bough from a website and was baffled too! I looked them up and figured out what they were and IMMEDIATELY busted out my biggest mixing bowl to “grow” them! My daughter and I have been playing with them all day! I found them on amazon for a total of 4.70 (including shipping) for 12 bags AFTER I found 5 bags for .97 cents plus 4.99 shipping so naturally I bought those first, then the 12 pack. When they gete here in the next week I am getting a kiddie pool and filling it up with these and going to town! (cuz that’s how my silly self rolls)

  10. What makes everyone so sure these are safe to play with? Is it the bad English and mythical “Clear Beauty Satiety Face” flower that is supposed to grow up?

    1. That is an excellent question. After further research (this was originally posted years ago), it does appear that they are to be used in plants to put nutrients into the soil. So far I’ve talked with pre-school teachers and moms who have been using them for their kids to play with for years. That’s not a scientific study, but if someone was going to be sick from soaking these bolls in water, one of us would probably heard about it by now.

      1. I guess the joke is on my husband. He bid on a 100% Human hair wig and beat over 50 bids on Ebay paid $110us “When the package arrived from Guan Gdong China” only 6 package of those tiny seven color crystal boll was to be found in the 4×4 package, not even big enough to hold a wig.

  11. hi just thought id add they are for use by them self for growing flowers and plants without dirt or can be added to the dirt to help reduse the times you water the plants they release the water slowley if you but plant food or nutrients in the water befor you add them they will absorb them and slowley release them to the plants these have also been used often for people with autism put in bowls as it is cool to the touch and they like the texture and feel
    . hope this helps

  12. It’s worth noting that these are not safe for young kids that might put things in their mouth (intentionally or accidentally). Because they start so tiny and grow so large with moisture, they are a significant choking / asphyxiation risk if a child ingests one. There are many safety warnings online from various health authorities around the world about these. One example:

  13. I too think they are neat. However I put them in a large vase on my window sill and they seem to be melting!!. Info says let them dry out and grow them again. I can’t see that happening,has anyone done this?

    1. Hi Cathy! Thanks for stopping by. I have not tried drying them out and growing them again, but the woman who sold them to us said the same thing. If you try it, come back and let me know what happened. πŸ™‚

  14. You use it as soil and plant a flower in it. The beads give the flower that you plant water and oxygen so that u don’t have to keep up maintenance on the plant.

    1. By now you have found out that it’s an old post from 2010. Still my #1 post after all this time, with around 1800 hits a year. I keep thinking I need to head back to the Festival of the Last Minute and find that lady and buy another packet and do a better post. But then… hitting it a second time couldn’t possibly be as successful, so there is value in leaving it alone, too.

      1. I did not know it was an old post. I’m oblivious these days. Too much on my plate and still not enough good sleep. December just slipped by with me hanging by a thread. I don’t think I’ve had that many hits total. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for your comment, Linda. You mix the bolls into plant soil. Then when you water your plants, the bolls absorb the water and slowly release it over time. There are nutrients in the bolls that will also help your plants.

      This is the explanation I am told…but I have not attempted to verify it.

  15. Ooh I got some of these with a wall terrarium I bought on ebay. I spent some time googling and found out they are for plants. I’ve bought some string of pearl cuttings and some succulent soil that’s a special blend for cacti and other dry plants. I’m just letting them soak now and when they’re ready I’m just going to put them on top of the soil so they can gradually water them on my wall. Pretty handy if you might neglect a plant but really don’t want to πŸ™‚

  16. Thank you for this information! I got these with a plant-related package and had no idea what they were or what they did. This post and the comments were super helpful!

    1. Hi Peter, thanks for stopping by. I have learned so much from the people who commented here, after I published this blog post. I’m glad that it’s helping others too, like you! Have a great day.

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