Residents spot mysterious 'jelly cubes' in Chanhassen and Red Wing backyards

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Mysterious "jelly cubes" were found in backyards in Red Wing (left) and Chanhassen (right) Thursday morning. 

Two Minnesota residents that live over 50 miles apart reported seeing mysterious “jelly cubes” in their yards Thursday.

Both reports came in to the FOX 9 newsroom Thursday morning. One of them was from Red Wing and the other from Chanhassen. Neither homeowner knew what the mystery substance was.

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the cubes appear to be sodium polyacrylate salts that expanded in water. 

The salts are often added to backyard potted plants and soil to help them retain moisture. The salt soaks up excess water and discharges it. 

Florists also use the salt to preserve water and keep flowers fresh. 

Minnesota Poison Control said the jelly cubes are not toxic, but that long-term exposure to one’s eyes or skin could cause some irritation.

Swallowing a large quantity of jelly cubes could possibly lead to a bowel obstruction, but a toxicologist said a person or a pet would have to ingest a lot of jelly cubes to cause that.