I live in the US and have trail cameras on my property to capture wildlife, visitors, stray animals, etc. Several are equipped with infrared and I have watched hundreds of hours of video. Many videos feature a large amount of insects flying so I know what a bug looks like on infrared.

What I captured yesterday is completely different. It is a perfectly round sphere floating from one side of my driveway to the other and back again. It appears to me to be on convection currents passing between the trees that line my driveway.

I uploaded this video to Youtube and would be very grateful if you could take a look and tell me if you think it is indeed a spider floating its web between trees. Additionally, are you aware if this phenomenon has ever been captured on video before? I searched the web looking for other videos but am unable to find any.

The 'orb' appears at 10 seconds into this video.


1 Answer 1


If you're saying you think this is a spider riding air currents to travel from tree to tree, sorry, but I don't see it. If it's actually moving from one side of the drive to the other, it would have to be moving relatively quickly to cover that distance (about 20 feet according to the video) in only a second or so. If it's just being blown by the air, it seems to me like it would have to have been fairly windy to have moved that quickly, or be capable of directed flight.

It seems more likely to me that's it's just a particle of dust or similar material floating close to the camera. The reflection of the IR light causes it to appear much larger and causes the shape to appear more regular than it truly is. If it's actually a much closer to the camera, only light breeze would be required to show this behavior. There's a strand of web clearly visible near the camera, and perhaps this is indeed something caught in another strand web and dangling down in front of the camera—heck, it could actually be a small spider, but it appears dangling from a web near the camera rather than floating between trees.

I couldn't tell you exactly what it is, but it seems more likely to me that be a trick of light and perspective than a spider floating from one side of the drive to the other.

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert in arachnology or videography. These are just my thoughts on the video.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ OK, so I posed the question in the wrong location. This IS how spiders build webs between trees .. they DO float on convection currents that don't even have to be breezy but more made up of heat rising. I submitted this to the international arachnid institute and they have verified that it is not only a spiders kiting bubble but at second 18 you can see the spider. $\endgroup$ Nov 20, 2015 at 3:24
  • $\begingroup$ @user3037683 - Why posting a question where the answer is already given by a seemingly credible source? $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Nov 20, 2015 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ @user3037683 To be clear, I'm sure that some spiders make their webs in this manner, I'm just skeptical that this is what's being shown here, given the speed at which the object would be moving. I've watched the video closely, and tried to look at each frame around the 18s mark as you suggest and I still can't see anything that can clearly be distinguished as something other than compression artifacts around the orb. You very well might have captured just what you say here, the video just isn't clear enough to say for certain. $\endgroup$
    – p.s.w.g
    Nov 20, 2015 at 3:40

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