Something in the Peruvian Amazon is making weird, intricate structures that resemble white picket fences surrounding an Isengard-like spire.
No one has any idea who the mysterious craftsbug (fungus? spider?) is, or what the structure is even used for, excepting the fence part, which almost makes sense. Nobody, not even the scientists. We asked.
Troy Alexander, a graduate student at Georgia Tech, spotted the first of these structures on June 7. The little, seemingly woven fence was parked on the underside of a blue tarp near the Tambopata Research Center, in southeastern Peru. He later spotted three more of the bizarre enclosures on tree trunks in the jungle.
Troy writes on Reddit:
I posted one of these once before and got no answers, but at the time I’d only seen one and suggested that it might be an aborted start of a urodid moth cocoon. I subsequently saw a few more, and they always looked like this, and no more. I assume there are eggs in the base of the maypole in the middle of the horse corral, though it might be something pupating. Please, any ideas?
This is fascinating. Can’t we watch them to see what comes out? I’m sure we will know eventually.
Troy writes on twitter that it’s been “a fun ride” watching his photos go viral this week. This is the beauty of social media – to bring mysteries to the world’s attention and aid in not only getting us all curious about it but hopefully finding an answer. We’ll keep tabs on this as other researchers attempt to find out more about it.