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"Bubbling" is the process where a Gem encases a specific object inside a bubble via contact or energy projection, and either takes it with them or transfers it to a different location. Items and Gems that are bubbled remain inactive until released.
Steven Can Bubble Gems

Steven bubbling Centipeetle's gemstone.

When a bubbled Gem is released, she instantly regenerates with seemingly no mental problems or awareness of their time contained as seen with the Centipeetle Mother, Peridot, and Bismuth.

Once a Gem starts to reform, it is impossible to bubble them, as shown in "Bismuth" when Bismuth begins to reform and Steven cannot bubble her gem.

Process

The Gem selects an object that they wish to encase inside the bubble, and concentrates to create a bubble that can surround the object. With experience, this process becomes much more instinctual, shown by how easily Gems like Garnet are able to do it. The resulting bubble is a different hue based on the type of Gem that bubbled it, and has unusual properties. These bubbles are able to float, hence their chosen name, and are able to support Steven as shown in "Monster Buddies" but can be moved with ease as shown in "Catch and Release". Bubbles are significantly stronger than natural bubbles, and can remain intact for an incredibly long period of time undisturbed. However, bubbles can be popped very easily by outside forces. The majority of bubbles are seen in the Crystal Temple inside The Burning Room, although due to the fragility of bubbles only Garnet is allowed inside of it. After bubbling an item, the holder can either keep it in their possession or teleport it to a different location via physical contact. In "Kindergarten Kid", it is revealed by Steven that bubbles can be teleported by tapping the top of the bubble and it is implied that this bubble teleporting possess an innate "homing" capability that causes the bubble to teleport to whatever place the Gem who created it considers home, as Peridot's bubble is shown being transported to The Barn, instead of The Burning Room.

Purpose

The purpose of bubbling a Gem is to contain their gemstone and prevent them from generating a new physical form. In the main series, this process is used solely on Gems the Crystal Gems deem dangerous, as Peridot is bubbled just like any other corrupted Gem.

Trivia

  • Garnet is able to bubble gems with and without her gauntlets which implies that Gems don't always need physical contact to bubble gems.
  • An active object or person is capable of bursting the bubble from the inside, as demonstrated in "Monster Buddies" and "Message Received".
  • There is an apparent size limit to what can be bubbled, as demonstrated by Pearl's and Peridot's incredulity to the prospect of bubbling the entire Cluster in "Gem Drill".
  • Gem Shards have the ability to bubble even without their physical form, as shown in "Gem Drill".
  • The remaining Rose Quartzes are being held in bubbles, due to Blue Diamond not willing to shatter them. They are seen in "That Will Be All".
  • Garnet mentions that bubbling puts gems in a stasis, which she states prevents them from suffering. Evidence of this is when Peridot is unbubbled by Steven she continues hours later mid-sentence of trying to explain the Cluster to the Crystal Gems since she was poofed.

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