If you don't know what something is, many are finding that posting a picture of it on the Internet and asking others to weigh in can yield some likely answers. That's what Troy Alexander with Rain Forest Expedition, an ecotourism company, did when he stumbled upon this sight in the Peruvian Amazon at the Tambopata Research Center:
Alexander said he asked locals what this could be but they weren't sure. Several entomologists later, he took his quest reddit. (Photo: Troy Alexander/Rainforest Expedition Lodges Facebook)
It's about two centimeters across and was found on few different trees and a plastic tarp, according to the Rain Forest Expedition's Facebook post. Troy said he had shared the image to several insect experts with no luck on a conclusive answer.
He does have favorite theory though: "there are spider eggs in the base of the pole, and the spiderlings climb the pole and sail away on silken parachutes, protected by the fence the whole time."
This close up of the structure was taken with a microscope lens. (Image via Rain Forest Expeditions Lodges Facebook)
On the website reddit, he wrote that he had posted a photo of these before with no success.
Alexander posted this photo two months ago on Reddit with no answers as to what it could be. (Photo: Troy Alexander via Imgur)
"I assume there are eggs in the base of the maypole in the middle of the horse corral, though it might be something pupating," Alexander speculated.
Some redditors have provided their thoughts as well.
One of them supported Alexander's thought that the fence is meant to "support a cocoon while it pupates" or "discourage or entrap would-be predators."
Another pointed out its similarities to a Bucculatricidae moth cocoon.
Bucculatricidae moth cocoon. (Photo: MJ Hatfield via BugGuide.net)
Others have drawn similarities to types of spiders that hang their eggs from such a sac but do not surround them with a "fence." Other known spiders do surround their eggs with a fence-like structure but not one made out of silk. Then there's an image of a similar spun fence but a distinctly different sac.
Others have more light-hearted suggestions as to what the structure could be.
"It's a mini Isengard," the redditor Little_Morry wrote.
"They're getting their own home and a white picket fence before they're even born!" another going by SPESSMEHREN said.
Let us know if you have ideas in the comments.