Some Interesting Fibers and "Orbs". Ballooning Spiders?

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I was looking for herons flying high overhead today, and I though I saw a couple but when I zoomed in I got:
20160926-131125-w0buf.jpg

Rather an odd looking bundle of fibers. I saw a few more later.
20160926-131315-nod3n.jpg

20160926-131355-wvabc.jpg


20160926-131459-iuw3z.jpg

20160926-131531-sqq4r.jpg

They were very hard to get a sense of scale. I'm thinking they were actually relatively small, just a few inches in the bundles, and a few feet for the longer fibers. They were hard to see with the naked eye, looking like this at a full 500mm zoom. An iPhone camera would not even register them.

20160926-131802-ohwfw.jpg

So they seem like very good candidates for something that could be misidentified as some kind of alien aircraft. They moved strangely, seeming to speed up and change direction. They also tended to vanish (thanks to empty field myopia).

So what are they? I'd suspect ballooning spiders.

Here's a heron pic I shot yesterday at the same zoom settings. The heron also looked pretty much like a white dot until you zoomed in.
20160926-134457-5v6wz.jpg
 

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deirdre

Senior Member.
Do you have silk floss trees near you? (or maybe lint from your neighbors dryer vent, anyone decorating for Halloween yet? :) )
 

Marin B

Active Member
I've never heard of ballooning spiders before. But now that I've poked around a bit on the 'net, that seems to be a more likely explanation than a 20,000 ft pillow fight! :)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's some clumped spider silk and a "chemweb" From:
https://www.metabunk.org/debunked-c...-lab-tests-for-metals-spider-silk-dirt.t5290/


I think it's spiders, hopefully some will get caught in a tree and I'll get a closer look. There was quite a lot of it. I don't remember this from last year.

Earlier today I heard a huge roaring sound, like the noise of a jet flying overhead times six. I looked for the source and I saw one of these fibers floating by. Then I saw six fighter jets, really high, heading North East. I could imagine a suspicious type connecting the two events.
 
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Chew

Senior Member.
I videoed a ballooning spider egg sac once:

Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QyeZOUcLdNg

ETA: a minute after I posted this my iPhone said a software update was available. So I followed the procedure to update it. Right after I clicked on the final step to start the update I looked up and another spider egg sac came drifting by! The only camera I have is on my phone so I couldn't record it! By the time the update completed the sac had drifted over the neighbor's house.
 
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Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
ETA: a minute after I posted this my iPhone said a software update was available. So I followed the procedure to update it. Right after I clicked on the final step to start the update I looked up and another spider egg sac came drifting by! The only camera I have is on my phone so I couldn't record it! By the time the update completed the sac had drifted over the neighbor's house.
That shows you just how cruel and tricky aliens can be!
 

cloudspotter

Senior Member.
I videoed a ballooning spider egg sac once:

Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QyeZOUcLdNg

ETA: a minute after I posted this my iPhone said a software update was available. So I followed the procedure to update it. Right after I clicked on the final step to start the update I looked up and another spider egg sac came drifting by! The only camera I have is on my phone so I couldn't record it! By the time the update completed the sac had drifted over the neighbor's house.
I don't think the egg sac 'balloons' does it?
 
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