VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


What Created This Mysterious “Picket Fence” in the Amazon?

It’s probably the only picket fence in the Amazon, but scientists have no idea what made it or what its purpose might be.

Georgia Tech doctoral student Troy Alexander stumbled upon these two-centimeter-long white structures growing on trees in Peru on June 7. (Also see “What’s This Mysterious Circle on the Seafloor?“)

The picket fence of the Amazon. Photograph courtesy Troy S. Alexander, Tambopata Research Center
The picket fence of the Amazon. Photograph courtesy Troy S. Alexander, Tambopata Research Center

Since then, the intricate handiwork has baffled scientists. Although most agree it was likely built by an insect, no one can identify the species that built it, or what the fence might be protecting.

“I thought anything this distinctive would have been discovered already,” Alexander said.

“I’ve talked to researchers worldwide and haven’t found an answer, so I don’t feel crazy saying that I’ve found a new species, or at the very least, a new behavior,” he said.

“What Is That?”

Alexander made the discovery when he was volunteering at the Tambopata Research Center as part of the Tambopata Macaw Project. He noticed something unusual on one of the blue tarps the group was working under for shade. (Read more about a new species of decoy spider that was discovered at Tambopata.)

“I looked up and thought, ‘What is that?'” Alexander said. “At the time, I thought a Urodid moth had started building a cocoon and then just got distracted and didn’t finish or got eaten.”

Troy Alexander picture
Alexander in the Peruvian Amazon. Photograph courtesy Troy S. Alexander, Tambopata Research Center

Intrigued, Alexander snapped a few photos to show an entomologist back at the center. But the expert had never seen anything like it. Neither had anyone on Reddit’s What’s This Bug group, where Alexander also posted the photo.

Soon after, he saw several more of these structures, which consist of a tall, white conical post in the middle, surrounded by what can only be described as a small, circular white picket fence.

Having spotted several, Alexander knew that this wasn’t just the efforts of a distracted moth. He posted these new photos on Reddit and got a few suggestions, but nothing conclusive. Alexander’s leading hypothesis—one proposed by a Reddit reader—is that the structure was spun and built by a spider instead of a standard web. (Also see “Photos: World’s Biggest, Strongest Spider Webs Found.”)

Instead of spinnerets, or silk-spinning organs, some spiders have what’s called a cribellum, which, instead of spinning silk fibers, pushes the molecules through a fine mesh.

“Looking more closely at the photos, I thought, yeah, that does make sense. It does look like the silk was just pushed through a mesh,” Alexander said.

Unveiling the Mystery Builder

Alexander, who’s working on his Ph.D. in natural drug discovery, said he intends to stick with his chosen field, even with the glut of attention he has received from his Amazonian discovery.

mysterious structure picture
The mystery object is less than an inch long. Photograph courtesy Troy S. Alexander, Tambopata Research Center

He added he’d like to go back to Tambopata, although he doesn’t have plans to return in the immediate future. Luckily though, an entomologist will be traveling to the research center this winter to try to identify what’s building the forest fences.

When asked what he would name his find if it proved to be a new species, Alexander said he would need to learn some Latin so he could incorporate the word for “fence” in the name.

What would you like to name this unusual fence-builder? Share your thoughts below!

Follow Carrie Arnold on Twitter and Google+.


  1. Jeanne Chen
    Vancouver BC
    January 18, 2014, 12:22 am

    I think the thing in the middle is a pocket for eggs. then the small fence is for protection of the babies

  2. Михаил Токарев
    December 12, 2013, 5:45 am

    I think that as a trap that the construction is not necessary – flying insects easily going to get out of it, and crawling into it will not penetrate. It could equally be a spider structure or some sort of caterpillar, which pupated in the central cocoon. Or maybe it’s a fungus.

  3. anil jagtap
    October 2, 2013, 4:51 am

    I would call it The Aliens Work.

  4. Karen
    September 29, 2013, 10:10 pm

    As a world traveler and teacher of art, science,WorldGeography&GEO Bee proctor I love the worldwide feedback and creativity for this fascinating find!

  5. Carlo Sironi
    seregno M.B. Lombardia Italia
    September 28, 2013, 8:49 am

    Da inesperto totale io credo che l’autore di ciò sia un
    ragno, che ha deposto le uova nella sacca centrale di seta e
    che ha eretto quella sorta di palizzata a protezione di alcuni
    Carlo Sironi

  6. Carl Pearson
    Papua New Guinea
    September 26, 2013, 7:11 am

    it looks like a structured construction. the center post is set firmly and the outer post erected, then smaller threads of silk linking all together. Looks like a fence we would put up to keep people out of our yards or territory. looks like the fence is to protect whats in the center…. i go with the spiderhenge or arachnasafe

  7. charles lee
    September 23, 2013, 2:43 pm

    looks like some sort of tree mite ( white picket mite )

  8. Charlotte
    Courtenay, B.C., Canada
    September 23, 2013, 3:24 am

    I think it’s a fungus, there is at least one species that builds a lace lattice-work around itself. I think they call them “Cage Fungi.” I think some should take some samples and test it for DNA, then we’ll know for sure.

  9. John F
    September 22, 2013, 4:11 pm

    I recommend for a name “Milk Drop”

  10. cheryl ross
    Santa Monica, California
    September 22, 2013, 3:44 pm

    Call it a Snope’s Bug. That way no matter what they find out about it, the name will still fit.

  11. dhanaraj
    September 22, 2013, 9:25 am

    White cemetry

  12. oldobxguy
    September 21, 2013, 10:59 pm

    Looks like a white Hershey Kiss so maybe you should call it a “Fenced Kiss” or Gustulum Circumseptus

  13. Pat Massa
    upstate NY
    September 21, 2013, 9:45 am

    How about somethi ng to do with stonehenge? spiderhenge?

  14. C. Barrett
    September 21, 2013, 9:39 am

    “The Sac(k) of Troy”. The walls (fences) can only be breached by stealth.

  15. Nandakumar
    chennai, india
    September 21, 2013, 8:42 am

    It could be spider. It has to enter the nest and come out. I would
    call it a HOME BUILDER.

  16. Usman Arain
    September 21, 2013, 5:37 am

    its 100% Spider Art

  17. Rob Mc Artor
    Sparks, NV
    September 21, 2013, 3:18 am

    Try this on for size:

    Saepemque conditor Arachnid

    Fence Building Spider

  18. aunty george
    September 20, 2013, 11:48 pm

    I like Silkhenge. Or Wilson (for Wilson Picket). You could identify the eggs at the center, couldn’t you? Esp if they hatch.

  19. Joan
    September 20, 2013, 5:59 pm

    It does look like an egg is being protected, BUT it really reminds me of the TV show, “Under the Dome”. That egg, or whatever, is in the middle of the “Dome”.

  20. Layne
    September 20, 2013, 5:19 pm

    would you please delete my cynical comment and then this one? Thanks!

  21. abc
    September 20, 2013, 12:59 pm

    could be a fungus/mushroom thats probably why the entomologist/s hadn’t had an idia

  22. kVee
    September 20, 2013, 12:53 pm

    It’s a tiny ‘Fortress’

  23. Tony Helfrich
    South Africa
    September 20, 2013, 9:55 am

    It is very unlikely to be some sort of fungal outcrop because of the ‘cross-members’ of the picket fence. It would be a rather fancy type of fungus that is able to span fibers at regular intervals as in the photo. The ‘cross-member’ fibers seem to be integrated into the actual ‘pickets’.
    Also it cannot be a barrier to prevent creepies from getting in or out. Anything with more than 2 legs would easily climb over the fence.
    My guess is that it is a ground based the equivalent of an aerial based spider’s web. Possibly to provide a meal for the spider hatchlings when they hatch.
    I Googled ‘Peruvian waltzing spider’ without any hits so I don’t know about that one.

  24. Rik Warren
    September 20, 2013, 9:06 am

    Surely he or some one looked inside the central structure. Did I miss that?

  25. sivaraman
    September 20, 2013, 8:25 am

    i think , the spider is building taj mahal for that pair…

    best wishes

  26. jfs
    September 20, 2013, 7:40 am

    Looks like a slime mold. Fruiting body. Image google [slime mold fruiting body] and you will see examples of a very similar level of self-organization. Alternatively, the material could be fungal–mycelia can look a lot like insect webbing, and be just as tough–and if it’s something that partially deliquesces as it matures, it can be tough to figure out what the original form might have looked like.

  27. Helen
    September 20, 2013, 7:34 am

    Very very interesting

  28. Elsa Stevenson
    bermuda, fairylands, avalon
    September 20, 2013, 6:35 am

    i think it should be called the picket spider

  29. M. Ali
    Karachi, Pakistan
    September 20, 2013, 4:13 am

    Another Art or miracle of my Allah

  30. Mary
    September 20, 2013, 4:02 am

    I would call it araneam cavea allium – it looks a head of garlic inside a cage to me.

  31. ruhaima mousa
    San Bruno,CA
    September 19, 2013, 10:24 pm

    I think it’s a spider web trying to protect something looks like egg. Any way, am anxious to know the answer

  32. Nicolas Vincent
    Montreal, Canada
    September 19, 2013, 10:19 pm

    [genus of the insect or larva] vallumquus, derived from vallumque, latin for palisade. As for the common name, palisade [whatever insect type it is]

  33. Hanna
    September 19, 2013, 7:01 pm

    aráneam sepem or cimice sepem
    it could also be sepem spider or sepem bug.
    He said he wants part of it Latin. sepem means fence in Latin and aráneam means spider in Latin. Also, cimice mean bug in Latin.

  34. David Cox
    Alexandria, LA
    September 19, 2013, 4:46 pm

    I would call it cimice paulo sepem, meaning a little bug fence.

  35. Johan
    Oss, the Netherlands
    September 19, 2013, 4:42 pm

    a scientific name I found on Chrome, probably related to the fungus Clavunova amazonica is: Circinoconiopsis amazonica

  36. andree parker
    September 19, 2013, 4:23 pm

    I quite like the idea of a fungi in conjunction with a spider or other insect working in association with each other or an egg sack of some kind

  37. Johan
    Oss, the Netherlands
    September 19, 2013, 4:05 pm

    If it appears to be a fungus it might be a new basidiocarps forming species
    its latin name could be Clavunova amazonica, rtelated to Clavulina cristata, white coral fungus; its dutch name could be “Hans-en-Grietje”-zwam: the female and male organ is clearly visible
    there are many fungi living below waterlevel, some have medicinal properties

  38. graydog
    Wester Oklahoma, USA
    September 19, 2013, 2:58 pm

    It is obvious to me it is a spider’s rendition of Stone Henge and helps him (or her) keep track of the seasons of the year and to establish precise calendar dates, whether these were needed for agricultural, social, or seasonal-religious reasons, thus call it the “Druid Spider”

  39. Ramesh Doshi
    September 19, 2013, 2:27 pm

    Whatever name is given to this interesting bug.
    . Such discoveries underscore the fact that Amazon and other jungles should be protected across the globe. Only few areas are left without human touch. Homo sapiens has the most developed brain and should be custodian and not a killer of lower form of organisms and plant life. Thanks to NG to bring this to us.

  40. Raul Perez Duarte
    Queretaro, Mexico
    September 19, 2013, 1:59 pm

    It could be a fake “flower” to attract -and to trap some insects into it…

  41. Roberto Portolese
    September 19, 2013, 1:45 pm

    I think that the structure is made to catch insects/prey. Since the insect making the web does not have branches or points where to spun the web from, like a flat surface to start where the spun insect is, this structure was made with a central high post and to gain elevation in space the fence is made to connect to the central column at an higher place of the fence, with more chances to catch passing prey suspending the web higher up.

  42. castorag
    September 19, 2013, 12:42 pm

    I’m going for sepum acuminatum aedificator, pointy fence-builder, or SAE for short. The frat boys can thank me later.
    As an alternative, I’d like to suggest araneam Stewartii, since this spider (it is is one) has clearly got a subscription to Martha Stewart Living.

    My first thought was a spider or other silk-making insect, since the centerpiece looks so much like Charlotte’s egg sac. What’s inside that bulbar structure? Has anyone analyzed the material in the “pickets” to see if they are silk-ish or fungi-ish?

  43. Charles O. Slavensa
    Deerfield Beach, FL
    September 19, 2013, 11:42 am

    It’s a horse training ring “little people” use to teach control to their tiny horses.

  44. Md. Farhad
    September 19, 2013, 11:42 am

    Protected Grave Or may be Shrine. Never mind, I’m secular.

  45. Charlie P
    September 19, 2013, 11:19 am

    I saw this on Reddit a while back – if internet nerds can’t figure out what it is, then what hope do scientist have? what hope do ANY of us have…

  46. Pol
    September 19, 2013, 11:03 am

    I guess a cocoon with a fence, looks like a spider

  47. Ella
    September 19, 2013, 10:52 am

    Amazon picket fence spider translated into Latin is:

    **Amazon stationem sepem aráneam**

    Hope this helps, great find congratulations!

  48. Laura
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    September 19, 2013, 10:49 am

    Has anyone simply done a test to see what this thing is made of? Does it have DNA and where does this DNA fall philogenetically? Does its chemical structure resemble that of more familiar spider webs, etc? Are there insect eggs inside it?

    Just because it looks like what we call a fence doesn’t mean it performs that function here (e.g: a mushroom fairy ring doesn’t keep out other mushrooms). Testing the item will likely answer the question of what this thing is.

  49. molly singh
    September 19, 2013, 10:39 am

    It is a spider that lives on the ground. It brown in color with tiny white spots I saw this in my Country Trinidad when i was a little girl in my father,s garden

  50. Scott Stirling
    Framingham, MA
    September 19, 2013, 10:31 am

    At first I thought fungus erupting from the bark. Definitely thought it looks like a drop of milk caught in freeze frame. Second thought it does look like a common spider egg sac in the middle and the outside is web-like, and it’s hard to tell if its emerging from the bark or installed superficially, in the pics. What’s in the middle inside? Is the material silk? The discoverer assumed it was insect. On what basis?

  51. robert D
    September 19, 2013, 10:20 am

    To me it appears fungal; a macrofungus. Some fungi have unusual structures that spur from mycelium. The rainforest is full of exotic fungi. Get info from a mycologist.

  52. Lyondhur
    September 19, 2013, 10:08 am

    A “paranoid Republican in the jungle” should fit the naming.

  53. Andreen Anderson
    Vancouver, BC-Canada
    September 19, 2013, 9:39 am

    The 3-D Crop Circle Spinner Spider!

  54. Lorraine
    September 19, 2013, 9:28 am

    An insect’s version of Stonehenge?

  55. Mhar Reyes
    anila Philiipines
    September 19, 2013, 9:04 am

    May I add to this that it seems there is mystery , because of the counting of fence is 28 , like Lunar Stonehenge !

  56. Mhar Reyes
    Manila Philippines
    September 19, 2013, 8:50 am

    As I am watching carefully to the pictures , it looks life fungi then a curious spider built web on it !

  57. Pedro Rodriguez
    September 19, 2013, 8:16 am

    Kind of spider. Or a radio receiver antenna for insects 🙂

  58. Ron Day
    September 19, 2013, 8:11 am

    Parva Albus conditor sepem

  59. Robin
    Perth, Australia
    September 19, 2013, 7:59 am

    I hesitate to destroy something like that, but microscopic examination, DNA analysis and biochemistry could settle the matter.

  60. Stacy Laporta
    September 19, 2013, 1:55 am

    Hello There. I discovered your weblog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  61. doc
    Washington, DC
    September 18, 2013, 12:13 pm

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    – Hamlet (1.5.166-7), Hamlet to Horatio

  62. simon petkovic
    September 18, 2013, 5:14 am

    maybe it’s the work of a bored scientist playing with cotton buds..

  63. Layne
    September 16, 2013, 7:07 pm

    How about the scambeetle?

  64. Nick Martin
    Carlyle, IL
    September 14, 2013, 11:57 pm

    It should be called the MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON SPIDER. I believe that is a safety mechanism to protect its spiderlings/eggs, and perhaps to even capture prey for the spiderlings to eat, when they hatch. Hope this helps!

  65. laurie saarinen
    hilo, hawaii
    September 14, 2013, 10:24 pm

    How about “picket fence wasp”? Consider Polysphincta gutfreundi, a parasitic wasp that grabs hold of an orb spider and attaches a tiny egg to its belly. A wormlike larva emerges from the egg, and then releases chemicals that prompt the spider to abandon weaving its familiar spiral web and instead spin its silk thread into a special pattern that will hold the cocoon in which the larva matures. The “possessed” spider even crochets a specific geometric design in the net, camouflaging the cocoon from the wasp’s predators. Couldn’t this be whats happened>? it is a nursery of sorts…

  66. Anthony
    September 14, 2013, 2:07 pm

    Its a fungi (mushroom)and bacteria

  67. MelissaR
    September 14, 2013, 11:49 am

    I think the structure in the middle looks like a toilet plunger. But seriously, with all the technology available today someone couldn’t set-up a remote camera to record what comes out of it?

  68. Paris Rebl
    Tucson, Arizona
    September 14, 2013, 7:57 am

    It’s a close circle of tiny albino worm friends doing headstands. (Groan)

  69. Carlos Arrunátegui
    The Netherlands
    September 12, 2013, 4:46 pm

    Why do you think you are the discover? You are just the one who made it public. In those places has always lived people and they saw it first. When you discover exotic thins in the ocean or inside the earth then you can pretend to be like that. When I lived in the Amazon central jungle of Peru for six months , I saw also something like that and appreciated many other things that I could never imagine, maybe I also “discover” some ones… We westerns are so arrogant and ethnocentric. Bahh. If it deserves a name, because it looks like protecting something, than call it “the Amazon metaphor”

  70. juic
    September 12, 2013, 4:28 pm

    spider art

  71. carlos baptista leyes neto
    Porto Velho
    September 12, 2013, 8:20 am

    A estrutura trata-se de uma proteção desenvolvida pelas aranhas para proteção do ninho e captura de presas. O objeto centra é o mastro – conectado aos pilares para fixação e ao mesmo tempo alerta, embaixo um casulo e em volta uma tela de segurança como existe em nossas casas hoje. Abraços.

    The structure is in a protection developed by spiders to protect the nest and prey capture. The object is centered the mast – connected to the pillars for attachment and simultaneously alert, and beneath a cocoon around a security screen as there is in our homes today. Hugs.

  72. Donald Bryce
    Boulder City, Nevada
    September 11, 2013, 9:41 am

    Upon first glance the structure looks like the slow motion capture of a drop of liquid such as milk or other white fluid. The overall presentation is that of an onion in a crown so I would have fun calling the completed structure an Onion Crown. Knowing no latin, the maker of this structure could be called the onion crown spider. Can anyone out there translate that into latin for me to see if it is an acceptable scientific name?

  73. Dag A. Torp
    September 11, 2013, 8:40 am

    I am going to give you the scientifically correct answer….

    I… Don`t…. Know….

  74. Masus
    September 11, 2013, 8:12 am

    I am sorry, but the spider theory does not work for me. Spiders all over the world have cocoon-, tent- or enclosed web-structures that are much more effective to protect their breed. Why would it evolve this completely out of line way of web building that looks much less effective than strategies that other spider species use?

    I still go for the fungus logic. Non the less, I cannot think of another fungus species that has developed this kind of protection. But due to the presence of the leaf-cutter/parasol ants in the Amazon it looks like a sensible and feasible adaptation for a fungus.

  75. Michael J. Baughman SR
    Coeur d'Alene, Id.
    September 11, 2013, 1:28 am

    That is definitely a spider trap meant to mimic , a form, that a specific type of insect is attracted too. So I would call it a Mimic Trap.

  76. Lulu
    September 10, 2013, 9:45 pm

    I think it should be called “Quamquam Sepem”= Fuzzy Fence.

  77. shirley
    Salt Lake City
    September 10, 2013, 5:52 pm

    ‘ET phone home!’

  78. Mike Ferguson
    September 10, 2013, 5:32 pm

    NSA micro spy antenna?

  79. Mike Ferguson
    September 10, 2013, 5:29 pm

    See what comes out of the eggs, then you will know.

  80. nayef bonyan
    September 10, 2013, 3:55 pm

    I think it’s a nest of eggs spider evolution of against predators many of them

  81. W. Cody Wyers
    United States
    September 10, 2013, 3:39 pm

    Obviously, these are outposts from an advanced civilization of miniature extraterrestrials.

  82. Guillermo
    Dutch Harbor
    September 10, 2013, 2:13 pm

    …perhaps the republicans or the Germans can name it…aren’t they good at building fences…?

  83. Harry Kuheim
    September 10, 2013, 1:54 pm

    Obviously this is the handiwork of Evil Republicans…most likely Dick Cheney or George Bush…but Obama can fix it…so go have some Cool Aid.

  84. Thomas Moxley
    northern hemisphere
    September 10, 2013, 1:20 pm

    That is a picture of a jelly fish (king)

  85. Brenden Brewster
    Las Vegas, NV
    September 10, 2013, 1:19 pm

    I will agree with most of the people here and say it is a spider egg sac and the fence is to keep predators out.

  86. Yolanda
    September 10, 2013, 12:59 pm

    I agree it is a new species of spider that builds a fence around its egg sac to protect them. Another great new find, We live in such a wonderful world where every day something new is discovered all the more to protect our precious world.

  87. Don Noble
    September 10, 2013, 12:39 pm

    Are there always 28 “pickets”? If so I suggest Moon Spider for the lunar cycle. Or maybe Domino Spider or February Spider. But I quite like Druid Spider. ps I think it’s a spider. pps maybe it’s imitating a flower to attract insects.

  88. Greg
    September 10, 2013, 12:19 pm

    Insect MMA ring

  89. Andrew Thomason
    Southest US
    September 10, 2013, 12:09 pm

    It is a spider egg incubator. The fence has been left by a mother who leaves its brood, therefore the need for the fence, which seems to have been built to defend from a specific predator (maybe an ant?). Upon hatching, the spiderlings climb the fence and parachute away from the tree, never coming within reach of the unknown predator.

  90. Gary Brooks
    September 10, 2013, 9:59 am

    This is a spider hatchery and nursery. The center structure houses the eggs until they hatch. The picket fence structure captures prey that the little hatchlings will feed on after they emerge. I have seen this pattern before, but not in such a distinctive style.

  91. Evolution55i
    September 10, 2013, 9:47 am

    Might I suggest the possibility of a combination of 2 species working collectively in creating this peculiar and spectacular structure. It maybe that it is a combination of both a fungi/spore which penetrates the bark of the tree with its roots and branches out like a flower of sorts and a spider which may find this particular species of fungi/spore favourable… Much like spiders that use particular plants or parts of plants to build their webs. Though this may sound farfetched it”s just as probable as other peoples suggestions in this thread I think.

    As for a name how about: Spore Spider

  92. tsharp
    Austin, Tx
    September 10, 2013, 9:28 am

    I believe its a spider, it has a few definate indications such as: Look at the string that leads off the top to somewhere outside, to the left like it’s a trip wire, along with what appears to be webbing to the pole and fence. Also, what appears to be lunch intertwined on the top right. Of course that could also be forest flake of some kind, but there are strings from the foriegn object one connected to the pole and two others to the fence. I thought that might have been the culpret hanging out, but then I thought saved food.

  93. New Yorker
    September 10, 2013, 9:21 am


    Above is the link to the “The Unicorn in Captivity” European mysterious tapestry(ies) from held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Cloisters location in upper Manhattan (NY, NY, USA). (I accidentally wrote MMA instead of MET in an earlier post). One of the main theories is the unicorn may be the narwhal, but this looks more like it and matches with the botanical inspiration of the Medieval tapestry. The tapestry looks like a hidden map, and this Peru, Amazon discovery may be important in the decipher of the tapestry as to its being a map of extensive travel during times when people were thought not to travel far. Maybe the medieval Knights Templar were comedians also. Back then, men usually designed the tapestries and the women did the needle point. (Of course, maybe this life form also existed in Europe back then). Please let us know what it is. I would call it unicornus blanca maximus or maybe the name of a great white dolphin in Spanish. Many names would fit it. May we get an update on the findings of this life form.

  94. Masus
    September 10, 2013, 8:49 am

    I think it is a fungus, the fence-like structure is probable way to isolate the middle from predators like ants (not flying insects anyway). The fact that threads come down from the top can simply be fungus threads that were already attached before it stretched out like fungi do.

    A spider-like trap does not seem to make a whole lot of sense (what insect would be likely to be trapped this way?).

    But it would be really interesting if it could be a collaboration between a fungus structure with a spider in the attempt to protect (and feed) both their spring-off.

    Fungi castrum

  95. Robt Campbell
    September 10, 2013, 8:37 am

    It’s not designed to keep things out. It is designed to keep things in once they get inside. The structure in the center has to have a sturdy base in order to support the signal strand. Notice most of the “poles” lean inward to presumably prevent an easy exist.

    Name – Uranus is mine.

  96. R.
    September 10, 2013, 7:42 am

    Its an egg sack, and the fence around it is to keep predators out.

  97. Mukul Chauhan
    India New Delhi
    September 10, 2013, 7:30 am

    Could Be a New Specie of spider. it might have set a trap to lure insects. if you see the first image a thread leads to the left side probably to a hideout for the specie that built it. i would also agree with williams theory about repelling chemical fence. but waitin to see what you find out in the lab.

  98. ^^TnT^^
    September 10, 2013, 4:46 am

    Very interesting 🙂

  99. Mara
    British Columbia
    September 10, 2013, 3:47 am

    It looks like a ribbed cocoon to me, maybe from a bucculatricidae moth. Has anyone consulted a Lepidopterist?

  100. Gwen
    September 10, 2013, 3:38 am

    Silkhenge Spider

  101. martin
    September 10, 2013, 3:26 am

    Beautiful…… seems to me that it is coming from out of the tree. Like a fungus, then creating a circle of spores, like mushrooms in a field.

  102. Danica
    September 10, 2013, 3:04 am

    If it was a funghi, how it would spread the main fibre from the top of the “tower” to the distand area out of the fence? Have a look on the first picture and on the left side its visible! Also, the fence looks similar to traditional round web style of construction where the spider fills up the space between the main fibres by small fibres of a standard width.

  103. Elaine Yorke
    United Kingdom
    September 10, 2013, 2:55 am

    i think it looks like a spider web and i would guess that its a nest in the bottom of the cone, the “picket fence” may well be inspired by a human structure and is a sign of evolution, and also is a method of collecting food for the baby spiders.as for what to call it what ever is wrong with exactly as its been described “the picket fence spider web”?

  104. K. A. Collins
    September 10, 2013, 1:18 am

    I personally think the species should be “Araneam sepem”, and the laymen term Picket Fence Spider. I agree it must be a spider and it is big.The credit to the following;

    C. Kira
    September 9, 5:51 pm

    “Saepemque” is Latin for “fence”. Also, “saeptio” or “saepimentum”. “Araneae vero sepem” would be Latin for “spider of the fence”. Or meaning “fence spider”.

    Lis Stedman
    September 8, 5:58 am

    I would call it the Picket Fence Spider , if indeed it is a spider, which would seem likely. Amazing structure…

  105. K. A. Collins
    September 10, 2013, 1:14 am

    I personally think the species should be “Araneam sepem”, and the laymen term Picket Fence Spider. I agree it must be a spider and it is big.
    C. Kira
    September 9, 5:51 pm

    “Saepemque” is Latin for “fence”. Also, “saeptio” or “saepimentum”. “Araneae vero sepem” would be Latin for “spider of the fence”. Or meaning “fence spider”.

    Lis Stedman
    September 8, 5:58 am

    I would call it the , if indeed it is a spider, which would seem likely. Amazing structure…

  106. Edward
    September 10, 2013, 12:05 am

    It looks to me like the work of a mutated microorganism, that is not supposed to exist at all. An invasive new life form for which nature has no defense. Or it could be a spider.

  107. Senmut
    September 9, 2013, 10:35 pm

    A corral for prey?

  108. Dale Christman
    September 9, 2013, 9:49 pm

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOhh,Idon’t know,pay attention to the SPIDER in the middle it might tell ya somethi’n

  109. Awicked1
    September 9, 2013, 9:35 pm

    It reminds me of some type of new alien fungi thats just me though.

  110. Silvino Pinto
    Recife Brazil
    September 9, 2013, 8:20 pm

    Fungii to me.

  111. Silvino Pinto
    September 9, 2013, 8:18 pm

    It seems to be a kind of fungui~

  112. Sabarika
    United States
    September 9, 2013, 8:14 pm

    The threadlike structure and makeup draws me to thinking it is insect-related, much like spider silk, but may not be a spider. The structure itself reminds me of a sundial though, I don’;t have any real suggestions other than that.

    everywhere, world
    September 9, 2013, 8:12 pm

    Who are we to say spiders arent artists. Maybe they saw and recreated in their own perception of some sort of building/compound. Maybe there are colleges for spiders and this one graduated from architectural college!

  114. emilce mueses
    September 9, 2013, 7:45 pm

    me encanta, los misterios de la naturaleza, en el mundo, cada lugar que encuentras te llena de emocion, y sensaciones nuevas, gracias por mostrarme que existe un planeta vivo.

  115. Jerom
    Los Angeles
    September 9, 2013, 7:33 pm

    I think that’s where the King or queen is hiding.. yeah?

  116. JAG
    September 9, 2013, 7:07 pm

    Possibly a dinasour in its early stages of lifeform using
    Advanced survival technique.

  117. Martin
    September 9, 2013, 6:54 pm


    Massachusetts, USA
    4:03 pm

    If its a spider, call it the Druid Spider, for building a little Stonehenge.

  118. Herbert
    The Netherlands
    September 9, 2013, 6:44 pm

    Makes me think most of some kind of fungus that catches insects, kind of like a venus flytrap?

    1. Sticks sticky thingy,
    2. Tesla Coil,
    3. Fence Fungus,
    4. Flytrap Fungus,
    5. Corral Fungus.

  119. Brendan
    boston, ma
    September 9, 2013, 6:39 pm


  120. Jacob Daniel Ellinger
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    September 9, 2013, 6:29 pm

    Have you thought about dissecting the thing? looks like an egg sack to me.

  121. Charles
    September 9, 2013, 6:19 pm

    Bombyx saepemque is Silk Fence in Latin. This is what I would name the new species.

  122. Don
    September 9, 2013, 5:53 pm

    Amazonia Haarp Array. AHA!!

  123. C. Kira
    September 9, 2013, 5:51 pm

    “Saepemque” is Latin for “fence”. Also, “saeptio” or “saepimentum”. “Araneae vero sepem” would be Latin for “spider of the fence”. Or “Araneam sepem”, meaning “fence spider”.

  124. Guida Muala
    September 9, 2013, 5:47 pm

    Aliens!!!!!!! I think they have something to do with this! hahah…On a serious note though, whatever that has done this clearly has been keeping a very low profile, which is really puzzling because there is no ways something this bright in color and this distinctive in shape can hide so perfectly…hope we will know soon what it is, cant wait!!

  125. Dorina Slater
    United States
    September 9, 2013, 5:15 pm

    Looks like an egg pouch that is being protected. Must be a spider… perhaps call it the fence spider?

  126. Sonia
    Santa Barbara, Calif.
    September 9, 2013, 5:05 pm

    It’s a satellite dish. Someone’s got some good TV.

  127. Natasa Markovic
    September 9, 2013, 4:54 pm

    I would give him the name Araneae circumsaepis if is the spider

  128. Amanndaa
    September 9, 2013, 4:48 pm


  129. Luc
    September 9, 2013, 4:28 pm

    I’m no expert, but to me it looks like an sort of a nest. The unborn grow in the bulb in the middle and after they’re born they have to stay in a convined (protected?) area.

  130. Shredder
    Massachusetts, USA
    September 9, 2013, 4:03 pm

    If its a spider, call it the Druid Spider, for building a little Stonehenge.

  131. Brett
    United States
    September 9, 2013, 4:01 pm

    This is clearly a spider’s recreation of a slow-motion milk droplet.

  132. M.R.Grit
    September 9, 2013, 3:55 pm

    Symbiosis between funghus and spider?

  133. NBeason
    Brooklyn, NY
    September 9, 2013, 3:47 pm


  134. Aris
    September 9, 2013, 3:34 pm

    I guess it is a fungus. The fence-like hyphae originated from the central spindle. The web-like filiform that connect the hyphae serves to maintain the structure and perhaps transport nutrients. The spreading out would cover more area to provide its growing needs and ensure survival. If it grows on a dead tree and scattered only on such it is most probably a fungus. I cannot say that it came from a spider family because spiders would hide their eggs if not mimic the environment. It would not leave it in the open air at the mercy of the environment or to be preyed upon. I really would like to know if it grows only on a particular tree. Please keep me posted. I would appreciate it. Thanks!

  135. New Yorker
    September 9, 2013, 3:27 pm

    That may be an extremely important finding as it looks similar to “The Unicorn in Captivity” Medieval tapestry (with many hidden botanicals), held by the Museum of Modern Art Cloisters location in upper Manhattan (New York, NY USA)–it was thought during Medieval times that people did not travel much (as they thought the world was square/flat)–except perhaps for the Knights Templar types, and maybe. This may be serious evidence of advanced culture(s) traveling during the Medieval period. That would mean there may be Medieval hidden maps listing medicinal and similar plants around the globe. Thanks for this great article with photo! Thanks so much.

  136. Gerard Scullion
    September 9, 2013, 3:13 pm

    I was wondering if the ring fence structure was required due to a lack of conventional supports for a web such as finer twigs and grass. It does look as if it has more than one purpose and humans would see this type of structure as a cage. A cage in a zoo has more than one purpose.

  137. Phon
    September 9, 2013, 2:38 pm

    To me it’s the reincarnation of an architect, ancient or even modern. Minds think alike regardless of form or species.

  138. Jemma McLaughlan
    September 9, 2013, 2:12 pm

    Why not leave a camera on it?

  139. Alexus
    September 9, 2013, 2:02 pm

    Amazonia Stonehenge

  140. Christine Stewart
    Ontario, Canada
    September 9, 2013, 1:20 pm

    I agree with most that the center is some sort of cocoon. Is there any chance of placing a camera that takes shots once an hour or every 2 hrs until the “egg” hatches? I know it would be costly … but in the name of science and in discovery … the cost would be insignificant. The fence is likely to keep ants or other harvesters away from the central nest. How about naming it … “Ring-Around-The-Rosey” LOL

  141. Johannes
    September 9, 2013, 1:19 pm

    It is a radar.

  142. Carrie Arnold
    September 9, 2013, 1:03 pm

    Hi Aris,

    Samples were not collected this time, no. Troy wasn’t even sure whether he was seeing a new species and didn’t want to disturb the environment. Now that it’s more clear this is a new find, researchers are going down this winter to look for it, collect samples, and perform tests to determine the species that made it and the materials they used.

  143. Aris
    September 9, 2013, 12:51 pm

    Did you collect samples for study?

  144. Bernie
    South Africa
    September 9, 2013, 12:15 pm

    This looks very familiar. If memory serves me correctly, I’ve seen something similar in South Africa, but much smaller. And I wouldn’t describe it as a fungus – the ones I’ve seen are usually found on painted walls

  145. amal
    September 9, 2013, 12:00 pm

    I would like to name it merry-go-

  146. Mark Pommier
    United States
    September 9, 2013, 11:52 am

    How about “stockade spider”?

  147. Carrie Arnold
    September 9, 2013, 11:29 am

    Great ideas and names, everyone!

    My first thought when I saw these pictures was that it was a modified web and/or something for spider eggs.

    I hadn’t thought much about fungi, although that’s another really good guess!

    Love the names–keep them coming!

  148. sebastian suarez
    September 9, 2013, 11:27 am

    I think if might be a larva of some kind. and while the egg is in the center, growing; the fence is arounr protecting the future born with a chemical repelent that surely keeps away spiders, ants, and even litttle lizards etc…

  149. Stacy
    September 9, 2013, 11:24 am

    A cynic might suggest something like this. 🙂

    3Doodler is the world’s first and only 3D Printing Pen. Using ABS plastic (the material used by many 3D printers), 3Doodler draws in the air or on surfaces. It’s compact and easy to use, and requires no software or computers. You just plug it into a power socket and can start drawing anything within minutes.

  150. robyn & scott Wares
    Roxborough Colorado
    September 9, 2013, 11:02 am

    We thought it was A Spiders Version of Stonehenge! Sort of like a Calendar!

  151. Dave Poole
    Liverpool, U.K.
    September 9, 2013, 10:52 am

    As soon as i saw this I immediately thought spider. However I do know that some harvestmen, (order Opiliones) build circular walls around their eggs and protect them. However although harvestmen belong to the same class as spiders i am unsure whether there are any silk spinning species. As for a name how about, Something sepesinstruo, The sepesinstruo coming from the latin sepes, ‘fence’ and instruo, ‘constructor’.

  152. Karen Killian
    September 9, 2013, 10:45 am

    This web so closely resembles a Wullenweber array, I propose that the insect responsible for this structure be named after it.

  153. Damian
    September 9, 2013, 10:35 am

    It seem even extraterrestrials come in small sizes.

  154. Phillip
    Pretoria, South Africa
    September 9, 2013, 10:04 am

    Interesting. Looks like a traditional cattle kraal. Is it unknown by locals there?

  155. Jabu Dlamini
    Kempton Park South Africa
    September 9, 2013, 8:04 am

    Spider has built the fence to keep harmful bugs from entering and at centre is a egg nest. To me look like unfinished business. If u can go again maybe you may found that spider has completed the project, build-up the covering top/roof for no entrance.

  156. John Webber
    Claremont Ca
    September 9, 2013, 7:44 am

    I’ve seen something like this years ago bit i can’t remember exactly where. It may have been where i grew up in Northern California or it could have been during my travels in the military. When this story first appeared the other day i recognized that structure immediately.

  157. maddog909
    September 9, 2013, 7:44 am

    Possibly a structurall stage in the life of slime mold…….my guess anyway.

  158. Turkan
    blacktown sydney Australia
    September 9, 2013, 7:36 am

    Its an amazing work and skill used to prey on what it really wants. I think it is made to look like a fungus of some sort to attract the prey, so it looks like a spider making this but who really knows you may have to place a camera to record the area to see what actually happens and what is making it and what its really preying…….definitely its covering 360 degree trapment with a little height so you can imagine the prey not able to escape…………:-) i would like to know the results.

  159. Danica
    September 9, 2013, 7:34 am

    sorry for the typing error – “children” instead of “childer”.

  160. Danica
    September 9, 2013, 7:32 am

    I think this is made by a spider as it has some characteristics for spider web: t
    The central “tower” is, at its top, attached by “adjacent fibres” to the “fence”. From the top of the “tower” the “main fibre” (clearly visible on the left of the first picture) is attached to somewhere/something outside of the whole structure.
    => I assume the spider is hidden outside of the structure, having the main fibre attached to its front leg. Then when an alien insect wants to enter the fence, vibrations from any place of the fence will go via the adjacent strings to the top of the tower and will be transmitted via the main fibre to the “mother” spider. Thus he is aware of the intruder immediately.
    This protection system is unlikely be to be built for protection of a “food” such as dead insect as it requires a lot of work which for me is equal to protection of “childer” therefore I assume inside the low part of the cocoon there are spider eggs laid.

  161. jonny boy
    provo, utah
    September 9, 2013, 7:27 am

    castle building spider or…. wrestle mania spider because its looking like a wwf wrestling ring

  162. Kurt MacKay
    Michigan thumb area
    September 9, 2013, 7:17 am

    To me it looks like a Fungus

  163. neena goyal
    September 9, 2013, 7:16 am

    why wont they they some installed cameras on the spot to know what comes out the center pillar who and how they are being created ..

  164. John Aldridge
    United States
    September 9, 2013, 6:29 am

    It looks to be a spider web the center being a nursery.

  165. Alex
    September 9, 2013, 6:20 am

    I’ll suggest an very speculative alternative- Parasites that have already gained access to a spiders brain control its behaviour, making it use it’s web silk to erect a defensive structure before collapsing in the centre and dying. Then parasites erupt from body. But thinking again, would anything want to eat it anyway?

  166. liz edwards
    Nowra NSW Australia
    September 9, 2013, 6:16 am

    Could it be a fungus, it reminds me of a lady veil Mushroom.

  167. khots
    kuching, sarawak, malaysia
    September 9, 2013, 6:08 am

    spider egg sacks after all the little spiders hatched and moved away.

  168. jhun henson
    September 9, 2013, 5:23 am

    fungus…some type of fungus from decaying plants…new breed..new species.

  169. Adam Nair
    September 9, 2013, 4:47 am

    Maybe the spider that built this was a fan of Lord of the Rings. That structure looks like a spider version of Isengard.

  170. Kjones
    September 9, 2013, 4:46 am

    Terry Knaoff- did you even read the article? And to CM- I was thinking the same thing! This is really cool!

  171. Boaz Ng
    September 9, 2013, 3:38 am

    Reminds me of lacewing eggs.

  172. Cheryl Morel
    South Africa
    September 9, 2013, 3:32 am

    Looks like it could be some sort of spider. Very interesting and clever, I would love the follow up on it. Thanks for sharing.

  173. Louise Gains
    September 9, 2013, 3:22 am

    I would call the builder of this stucture … TomSawyera…

  174. Mathias Lyng Nikolajsen
    September 9, 2013, 3:09 am

    I’d name it a Spenge.

  175. Gerard Scullion
    September 9, 2013, 2:31 am

    I think it’s more significant that it’s a “ring fence”. The central support not only adds support to the “tent poles” but might also form a “big top” like roof? It could be used to keep things out but also to keep things things in. That amount of effort does look like it’s associated with reproduction. Could it be to catch and/or store live insects such as Aphids or Ants as a source live food for emerging spiders whilst keeping predators out.
    Maybe the adult invests more time at the start to allow it to
    move on early but leave a legacy for the young. What about the Ring Fence Spider, Circus Tent Spider or better still the Arena Spider or Amphitheatre Spider which should have a Latin name.

  176. archiong
    calabar, Nigeria
    September 9, 2013, 2:28 am

    Its a beautiful thing to lay eyes on…I think its one intriguing part of nature..perfectly built over reasonable time..its purpose still unknow..time will tell further..I give credit to God!!

  177. Shannon Thrasher
    United States
    September 9, 2013, 2:22 am

    Depends, does it keep something in or out? If it keeps babies/food from escaping, I think “Cage Spider”, if it keeps intruders out i would call it the “Fort Spider”?

  178. Dale
    September 9, 2013, 1:38 am

    It’s incredible. And also a pity a time lapse camera could not have been set up to see if the mysterious creature returned or if something did somehow emerge or even to see if anything became attracted to it. It reminds me of the inside of many native Australian flowers when they open with the central stamen and long stringy ‘petals.’

  179. Min
    Corpus Christi
    September 9, 2013, 1:32 am

    I have seen a circle of small white stick like structures on trees where I used to live. They showed up randomly and you didn’t see them all the time. They didn’t have anything in the middle or the cross sections like the ones in the photo to make it look like a fence. But we would see something similar. We thought fungus but could be insect. It would be cool to find out.

  180. Shannon Turner
    Henderson, Nv
    September 9, 2013, 1:16 am

    Ive seen something similar being born its from snails.. See if it reflects a black snail trail in blacklight conditions. Ive seen egg protrusions like that before.

  181. Mark
    September 9, 2013, 12:56 am

    The fence is made to hopefully catch some insects for the young spiders first meal after they came out of their nest.

  182. Davina
    September 9, 2013, 12:51 am


  183. Tuuli
    September 9, 2013, 12:41 am

    I would like to name it amazonian cowboy … (whatever it is)… cause it seems like it is herding somebody

  184. Gregg P
    Dallas, TX
    September 9, 2013, 12:35 am

    Name Guess: Sentry or Guardian Spider

  185. Jim Markowich
    September 9, 2013, 12:26 am

    Looks like some kind of slime mold…

  186. ed
    manila, philippines
    September 9, 2013, 12:16 am


  187. Marian Steele
    September 9, 2013, 12:15 am

    It looks like some insects work. Could be for the hibernating period where the insect insulates itself in that cocoon n breathes through the little tube like chimney at the top and feeds on the food it has within that cocoon or it could be its a good insulated cocoon for the hatching of its eggs? The fence around is to mark territory!

  188. Cori Scisorek
    September 9, 2013, 12:14 am

    The “Robert Frost” bug? Good fences make good neighbors…

  189. Amit
    New Delhi Inidia
    September 9, 2013, 12:03 am

    Amazing Planet. Life is the gift of mother nature and in every form it should be respected. In a large scenario we too build fences to define our territory. Or maybe that was a playground for the spiders. But for sure spiders brains are capable to create complex structures like web and now this beautiful fence.

  190. sinjin wheatley
    fort myers fl
    September 8, 2013, 11:46 pm

    the center cone looks exactly like one of those “pop-its” that you throw on the ground to make a little bang, call it a pop it spider!

  191. Somebody
    September 8, 2013, 11:29 pm

    Reminds me of a Pikmin~ minus the leaf/bud/flower. Still really cool =o

  192. Meg
    September 8, 2013, 11:09 pm

    I’d not be surprised if it was a fungus. If not, though, doesn’t look like an arachnid nest to me with the tube structure. A fertilized arachnid nest doesn’t need a tube. Tube indicates a need for fertilization. Something even cooler may present.

  193. Carmen Ferguson
    September 8, 2013, 11:07 pm

    Very interesting. I just wondering like CM if somebody ask to the natives for sure they know about it. When I saw it I just think about a “micro Stonehenge”, We definitely live in a planet that barely know it. Amazing Amazon, Isn’t it? by the way I would called them:” Alexander’s micro Stonehenge” 🙂

  194. pam davis
    September 8, 2013, 11:07 pm

    Hmmm, a spider? A clever moth? Either way, it looks like a guard tower, stone henge, the coliseum or a one teepee village lol the tesla tower

  195. Zach Halsey
    mechanicsville va
    September 8, 2013, 11:07 pm

    has anyone considered it might be some sort of tree tunneling insect/parasite which builds a cocoon and fence around itself then tunnels into the tree where it gets it nutrients?

  196. Lisa Gillanders
    September 8, 2013, 10:44 pm

    I’d call it “The perfect Home” bug

  197. Lisa Gillanders
    United States
    September 8, 2013, 10:43 pm

    Call it “the perfect home”

  198. shankar haritsa
    Mysore, Karnataka, India
    September 8, 2013, 10:41 pm

    Perhaps it is an insect trap for food gathering

  199. Karine
    September 8, 2013, 10:19 pm

    What about a spider nest eggs in the middle And This fence looking like à flower made to protect eggs from big insects which get stuck And also open above to atire little flying insects in the center for Baby spiders be able to eat something when They pop out from the central nest. As a nursery park.

  200. Audrey Scarante
    Curitiba Brazil
    September 8, 2013, 10:11 pm

    Why would it keep infant spiders inside the fence? I don’t believe there is protein like stuff in the middle to justify keeping them inside longer. Besides, wouldn’t it make it easier for them to be killed? My guess is a new species of ‘fungus among us’. Beautiful structure, though!

  201. Andrew Paul Wood
    September 8, 2013, 10:10 pm

    Troius saepes

  202. Michelle Treece I
    September 8, 2013, 10:09 pm

    For some reason, I think it looks like a fungus of some sort!! Some tend to send hyphae out in circular patterns underground then send up above ground structures for reproduction. What’s the chance?? I wonder if it is cellular? I would love to know what it really is!!

  203. Celia McKenna
    United Kingdom
    September 8, 2013, 10:01 pm

    Stepford Wife Spider

  204. Dave koss
    September 8, 2013, 10:00 pm

    Our fellow travelers are trying to communicate with us.
    supporting premises:
    They’ve noticed that humans like order and symmetry.
    They’re building orderly, symmetrical structures to attract human attention.
    The structures are proof of intelligence and purpose.
    wilddonkey unsupported bluesky conclusion:
    The subject of communication is or will be the alteration of the planet and/or the cessation of that activity.

  205. Walter Welborn
    September 8, 2013, 9:57 pm

    Kings Crown

  206. Stephen Reynolds
    September 8, 2013, 9:53 pm

    Coutd in be some kind of fungus?
    Thing three-dimensional ringworm.

  207. Ayla J.
    September 8, 2013, 9:44 pm

    What it could be called is: Araneus Saepe Sepe (spider fence) Although it could be a strange, new kind of silk worm, or moth; a temporary protection home for a small molting spider, moth, or tarantula. A protective egg sac. Or a semi permanent home/ trap made from a spider.

  208. Doyle Welborn
    United States
    September 8, 2013, 9:42 pm

    Looks like a Hershey’s Kiss protected by a spider’s picket fence. Call it the Spider’s Kiss.

  209. dmc
    September 8, 2013, 9:38 pm

    Lab, dissect, DNA. What if it is fungi?

  210. OD
    September 8, 2013, 9:35 pm

    Why is it assumed that the fence is for defensive purposes? It could just as easily be to retain prey.

  211. GS
    September 8, 2013, 9:28 pm

    Guess: conical structure contains eggs, and fence will help to trap prey for the babies to feed on when they hatch. 🙂 it’ll also double up as a shield to warn other insects to keep off!

  212. Wagner Medeiros
    São Paulo / Brasil
    September 8, 2013, 9:28 pm

    Turris circumventus (Troy, 2013)

  213. Louis-Charles
    September 8, 2013, 9:27 pm

    Maybe it has a fungal origin?

  214. Greg
    September 8, 2013, 9:14 pm

    Are we sure that it is insect related and not a form of fungus?

  215. Dana DiPerna
    New Orleans, LA
    September 8, 2013, 9:11 pm

    My guess is that it’s a spider egg coccoon. There’s a very good chance that there are hundreds of mini spiders just waiting to hatch out of the center. Very cool! I’d love to see this thing come to life & what sort of interaction the hatchlings have with the ‘fence’. It might serve some other purpose other than just to protect the eggs. Maybe better wind current pulled in and up to the tip of the cone for takeoff~?

  216. Jun CJ Nofies
    Manila, Philippines
    September 8, 2013, 9:06 pm

    I’m sure a species of spider created this fence.. whether it’s made as an insect trap or for protection. How about asking the people living near them? I’m sure they encounter that fence hundred times and saw who’s creating it.

    I’ll simply call it “Fence Spider”

    ..and the scientific name should be like, ‘Saepemque Aráneamis’ …well, let the scientists name it.

  217. austin Erickson
    United States
    September 8, 2013, 8:48 pm

    This may be a far-out thought but perhaps it’s not the construction of a spider or insect at all but perhaps a newly discovered fungi, which are known to colonize in a circular formation.

  218. erin elizabeth
    September 8, 2013, 8:41 pm

    has anyone considered that it COULD be a protective fence for some sort of butterfly or moth as it goes from a little caterpillar to a moth so that it stays protected during this delicate phase of it’s life cycle? it appears from the picture that whatever is inside could be able to sense a predatory ant or some such creature due to all the posts having tiny spandrels that connect to the center pole this implies that whatever is inside is using the fence to both protect itself and allow it to know when something is getting close….. im going with that because it sounds more pleasant than an icky spider….. lol

  219. Liz
    September 8, 2013, 8:37 pm

    What a great find…..I would name it “The Castle spider”

  220. Mark Travis
    Huntsville Al.
    September 8, 2013, 8:31 pm

    My 12 year old said name it ( Hershey Corral )

  221. Melissa Decker
    Dillon, CO
    September 8, 2013, 8:24 pm

    And he’s sure it’s not a slime mold or some other type of fungus? It reminds me of the fairy rings produced by some mushrooms.

  222. Edwardos
    September 8, 2013, 8:14 pm

    Call it the Picket Bug. That’s a good name for something that creates fences. If it’s a beetle call it ‘picket beetle’.

  223. jules
    September 8, 2013, 8:13 pm

    I’d say it’s the Guantanamomoth

  224. mario beaudet
    quebec .ca
    September 8, 2013, 8:12 pm

    i dont no my spell is correct but because i speak french normaly . i like you check the tree on side road this place
    454 cumberland—–new westminster
    british columbia—–canada

  225. Thiago André
    Brasil/São Paulo
    September 8, 2013, 8:11 pm

    Looks like a fence…ok… but isn´t it a little fragile to be a fence??And other thing…the write colour gets attentions inside the dark green of a forest/ Woudn´t be camouflage??maybe a pioson kind of fungus that is known by the litlte guys to be dangerous so they don´t get close to it?The chemical ideia William sad is another cool possibility!!!Of course I am just guessing people, not saying anything for sure……

  226. sadia
    September 8, 2013, 8:09 pm

    I would have studied molecular characteristics i.e what it is made up of?which protein?…would help in knowing either these threads are similar to spider web….
    I would have tried to find DNA sequence homology.
    how strong this structure is?upon touch does it feel like? sticky like spider web?

  227. J Barrett
    Olympia, WA
    September 8, 2013, 8:08 pm

    Tree Henge

  228. Amy Bloom
    September 8, 2013, 8:07 pm

    Looks like Saruman’s tower (called Orthanc) from Lord of the Rings…a tall white tower, surrounded by an empty circular field. They should call it the Orthanc spider

  229. Jen
    September 8, 2013, 8:06 pm

    sepes. For example, Phoneutria sepes.

  230. Trip Affleck
    September 8, 2013, 8:06 pm

    such a gossamer fence couldn’t possibly afford any protection from a predator. however, there do seem to be threads attached between the fence and the center structure; and if you click on the top image, you see a thread at the very tip of the center structure leading off to the left, off camera. could it be a “baited hook” for a creature that might respond to the vibrations created by the attached threads during an incursion into the interior?

  231. Karl E
    September 8, 2013, 8:03 pm

    How about aedificator sepem. Latin for “fence builder”

  232. tanya
    September 8, 2013, 8:00 pm

    The outter circle(fence) is a protective webbing. The center is most likely an egg sack. The outter web grabs the unwanted guest before reaching the eggs. Amazing.. Makes you wonder if there brains have grown stronger. Interesting science experiment for sure

  233. Trip Affleck
    United States
    September 8, 2013, 7:57 pm

    hah! nicely done Ima Ryma! [and i see what you did there!]

  234. kevin grant
    September 8, 2013, 7:52 pm

    Or theres eggs in the centre. The fence around it catches bugs for when the spiders hatch. They will have a meal as soon as they hatch.

  235. kevin grant
    September 8, 2013, 7:48 pm

    I think that the post in the middle is scented to attract insects. They will try and get into the post in the middle, but will get trapped trying to climb over it. The spider will check back at his traps to see if hes caught anything.

  236. Gordon Stogre
    Mississauga, ON, Canada
    September 8, 2013, 7:05 pm

    Just when “MAN” thought he knew everything about everything… We know so little of what God has created. That’s why we’ll need eternity to learn about the universe! 70 or 80 years just won’t cut it!

  237. Christian Romero
    La Paz, Bolivia
    September 8, 2013, 6:53 pm

    Amazing! It remember’s me an image of a sperm trying to enter into an ovule. I will called it “fecundatio” spider (fecundatio, Latin = fecundation).

  238. Ididwhatlastnight
    September 8, 2013, 2:30 pm

    There is a new type of paintball that contains corn starch and water. There was a match nearby. Game on!

  239. tyrell coker
    Boerne Texas
    September 8, 2013, 11:52 am

    if I had a chance to name a discovery such as this one and found out that indeed it was a spider that created it I would have to call it “Luna Araneus” meaning moon spider in Latin

  240. Bridgett Hendricks
    September 8, 2013, 10:35 am

    AWESOME! Would call it “PicketHenge”

  241. Anastasia
    United States
    September 8, 2013, 9:02 am

    Is that a spider I see in the right hand side of the structure? If not a spider egg sac… Then why not suggest a fungus? Or some type of parasitic species ? It for Whatever reason doesn’t really strike me as odd… But on the other hand, I’d want certain identification as well. Maybe a native to the area?

  242. Lisa Drouin
    Lloydminster, sk, Canada
    September 8, 2013, 7:50 am

    -Picket Aracnid
    -Deceiver Spider
    -Miner Spider (fences in anything he thinks is ‘mine’)

  243. Lis Stedman
    September 8, 2013, 5:58 am

    I would call it the Picket Fence Spider, if indeed it is a spider, which would seem likely. Amazing structure…

    United States
    September 8, 2013, 4:48 am

    Since no one has seen an insect build the fence, could it be a type of plant that evolved from another plant. While the article is fascinating, I wonder of all of the structures are uniform in size and shape. Spiders tend to leave unique signatures in their webs. How many are there and are they all built into moss on trees? So many variables are left to ponder, with minimal information. I agree it is an amazing discovery and look forward to reading more about it.

  245. Aaron Horrell
    New Zealand
    September 8, 2013, 3:59 am

    Have they asked the local indigenous? They’ve likely seen this before, unless it’s a new thing, which seems unlikely.

  246. Matt Bear-Fowler
    September 8, 2013, 2:15 am

    I think it’s possibly a fungus of some kind. Something like a new kind of mushroom.

  247. Betel Geuse
    September 8, 2013, 2:14 am

    Charlotte’s Web!!!

  248. denise lanzisera
    long island ,NY
    September 8, 2013, 2:10 am

    if you enlarge the photo at about 8 o’clock you can see the front of a small robust furry
    brown spider :-/

  249. Tone-Lise Magnussen
    September 8, 2013, 1:49 am

    Could it be a fungal, that a spider has added some web onto?

  250. Margit Roberts
    Boynton Beach, Florida
    September 8, 2013, 1:21 am

    I would name it, “The Unicorn in Captivity”. As soon as I saw the photo it reminded me of the famous tapestry.

  251. Ericson Orola
    September 8, 2013, 12:12 am

    Saruman Spider:)

  252. Anne G Chipman
    United States
    September 7, 2013, 11:06 pm

    Contego serica means Silken Defense in Latin I believe…would seem appropriate!

  253. Tammy kimbrell
    September 7, 2013, 11:05 pm

    How about prison spider , if its a spider. Prison whatever it may be because all of it is bound together behind a fence and to the fence . Or prisoner whatever it is.. Sounds appropriate to me…

  254. Michelle
    September 7, 2013, 10:54 pm

    The little fence could be to catch tiny bugs or grow a form of moss/fungus for the babies to eat when they are hatched.

  255. cortnnie
    September 7, 2013, 10:16 pm

    I would call it a fairy

  256. kevin erickson
    United States
    September 7, 2013, 10:05 pm

    that is clearly the head of a pikman lol
    jokes aside that is pretty darn cool

  257. Peter
    Northern ireland
    September 7, 2013, 9:54 pm

    The whole egg sac protection seems straightforward, logical but also simple. I’m sure there are more photos but the first one seems to have something on it. If it were a spider it would gave to be very small to do the finest work. In anycase anything that spins a web of any sort are never far from it.

  258. Gabbie Barnard
    September 7, 2013, 9:31 pm

    I have questions. Was a spider actually seen by the anomaly? It looks like a fungus to me not a web. I can’t see a spider. Fungi are known for growing in circles like the fairy circles we sometimes find. It looks like a sundial on the side of a tree, or a miniature stone henge.

  259. David Farrant
    September 7, 2013, 3:39 pm

    Clearly a spidery Stonehenge. Probably would be a good idea to check its celestial alignment.

  260. Inam Ul-Haq
    September 7, 2013, 2:41 pm

    Just wait and see what hatches.

  261. email
    September 7, 2013, 2:01 pm

    Somebody put the following comment on MSN under this same photo. Can NG officially confirm or dismiss it?
    “Are you kidding me that’s a nest of a Peruvian waltzing spider, same picture was taken by explorer Len Snorsen and was displayed in NG mag in 1933.Look it up.”

  262. Tom Kerr. (Not important-your pictures are!)
    Medford, Oregon
    September 7, 2013, 9:54 am

    Unbelievably awesome. It looks like some sort of intricate egg fence compound and support/sensor wires to protect the developing eggs from ants and such. Wonder what sort of clever unknown beastie made it?

  263. Mark
    September 7, 2013, 6:32 am

    Since the structures have what seems like 30 or 31 “fence posts” this is clearly evidence of a complex spider created lunar calendar system.

  264. Moreach
    September 7, 2013, 5:19 am

    Has it been established what is inside the cone? I reminds me very much of spider egg structures in composition. I could see the “fence” being a way to retain the baby spiders an extra day or two once they hatch… or protect them from… Interesting amazing structure.

  265. Ima Ryma
    September 7, 2013, 4:58 am

    We sent some scouts to check it out,
    A planet – third rock from a sun.
    Found some weird creatures all about.
    Each called itself a human one.
    The scouts went where few humans were,
    And installed the homing hardware.
    We have locked in signals secure,
    And concluded we can thrive there.
    A few humans have found the tech,
    Call it a picket fence made by
    Some new bug – oh well, what the heck!
    Humans will find out too late why.

    The scout signals are right on tune.
    Aliens and we’re coming soon.

  266. Mr Gary Tucknott
    Bognor Regis
    September 7, 2013, 3:57 am

    Built by a small spider … a tent-like cage to protect its eggs.
    The egg sack is in the middle with a tent-post protruding up to support guy ropes to the tops of the cage side-walls.
    The spider webbing forms an intricate cage to keep small insect raiders from plundering the spider’s nest.
    I would call it a Cage Spider.

  267. Terry Knouff
    September 7, 2013, 2:26 am

    What do you mean “What Created This Mysterious “Picket Fence” in the Amazon?”, it just “appeared” through a random serious of atomic interactions. Like Einstein, or chicken soup. Right ?

  268. mtwzzyzx
    Los Angeles
    September 6, 2013, 9:54 pm

    It looks like a spider produced it, and the little thing suspended between the central column element and the fence in the first photo could be an insect caught and bundled, or just some jungle detritus that floated in. Perhaps it resembles a flower in some way, and so attracts insects looking for flowers.

  269. Eve
    September 6, 2013, 8:35 pm

    Interesting. ..i would name it “wizard of webs”

  270. CM
    September 6, 2013, 4:34 pm

    To me it likes like an egg pouch surrounded by spider webbing. Did anyone bother asking the natives, I’m sure they’ve come across it and probably know quite a lot about it?

  271. Janet Cobbs
    United States
    September 6, 2013, 3:55 pm

    Guess: Spider built the “fence” to keep harmful bugs from entering the coccoon and eating contents. Just a different kind of spider web. Am anxious for your findings.

  272. william wesley
    September 6, 2013, 3:45 pm

    I would assume an insect egg is in the central stalk or was at its tip and hatched, the fence keeps out ants and probably has chemicals to repel them as well. how about the “guard tower” insect?