Rollin' Rollin', Keep Those Moss Balls Rollin'

March 27, 2020

Have you seen the new craze? It's not paper related, but it's being crafty. Marimo moss ball terrarium. Marimo is a Japanese word which translates to “seaweed ball.” They’re actually a rare form of spherical algae. There’s nothing inside the sphere - it’s solid algae, radiating from the center. The algae grows radially outward and the round shape of the Marimo is maintained by gentle wave action that occasionally turns it. They grow at the snail’s pace of just 5mm per year. Marimo are kind of mysterious and cute at the same time.

I ordered my Marimo balls through the internet. These are the popular size.

Moss Balls

I found the info about habitat and distribution on Wiki. I share it because it is interesting. Especially when just yesterday I found small tiny moss balls in a small lake within the city limits of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The glaciers (see distribution explanation below) traveled over all of Minnesota. Additionally, per the info below on habitat, I think it's a positive indicate that the land is still somewhat healthy in the heart of the city and bordering a major freeway system!

"Young" Balls from Local City Lake

Marimo's preferred habitat is in lakes with a low or moderate biological activity, and with moderate or high levels of calcium. The species is sensitive to the amount of nutrients in the water. An excess of nutrients (due to agriculture and fish farming), along with mud deposition from human activity are thought to be the main causes for its disappearance from many lakes.

The species is mainly found in the areas of Europe previously covered in glaciers (Northern-Europe), and in several places in Japan. It has been found in North America, but it is rare, as well as in Australia.

You can be as creative as you dream. I tried using lego blocks as a base, but they would not stop floating. I put only one ball per terrarium. You can certainly use multiples. Have fun with it. You can always change it up down the way.

Following is a photo gallery of the Marimo terrariums that my sister and assembled. Enjoy these little cuties.

Constructing The Terrarium


Shells Profile Before Water

Shells Top Before Water

Adding Water
After adding water, you want to play with the "scene" and perhaps rearrange the items.

With Water Pitcher

Shells Profile With Water

This is my favorite:

Colorful Profile

Colorful Top

Elegant Profile

Elegant Top

Gnome Garden

Gnome Top

My Sister's Terrariums

My Sister's Terrarium

My Sister's Terrarium

A Jar Terrarium

Closed Terrarium

Lego Experiment -- Unsuccessful!

Trying Legos

Still Not Sinking

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