Crowdsourcing To Supplement My Meager Scientific Knowledge

Belinda, my neighbour in our new classroom block, went for a look at one of the newly amalgamated schools in the northern suburbs of Adelaide (dubbed one of the so called "super schools" by the Adelaide media). Today, she showed one of her photos from her visit that had both of us puzzled.
blair athol north ps 009

Belinda pointed out the long white jagged line that goes from the foreground towards the back of the room and asked me what I thought it was. She also said that whatever it was, it wasn't visible to her when she took the photo and can't recall if there were any electrical devices in the room. So, I have no idea but I suggested that I would post it here and appeal to the collective (and much more scientific) intelligence of my (and your) network. You can click on the image here to go to the original full sized version that shows more detail.

What are we looking at here?

Is it some sort of electrical disturbance that happened at the precise moment of photography?

What could causing it?

Please help us out with either your considered opinion or pointers to potential answers. Our thanks in advance. Cheers.

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3 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing To Supplement My Meager Scientific Knowledge

  1. Tim Best

    Looks like a “negatively charged ectoplasmic entity.” If you contact Dr. Egon Spengler, he can probably hook you up with a few proton packs to take care of it. Just don’t cross the streams.

    1. Graham Wegner

      You know, Ghostbusters is one of those films that I never watched as a teenager, so your suggestion didn’t make sense until I ran it through Google. So, thanks for your tongue in cheek offer, but this is a serious question. I’m not being facetious here, even though I respect your right to be.

  2. Aaron

    If you look carefully at the carpet and the surface of the white table you’ll see that the object cast a shadow from the camera’s flash, this rules out any electrical or plasma theories.

    A closer examination of the upper tip and the lower end of the object also reveals very distinct thread/fiber characteristics. Knowing what the object is on the table in the bottom right hand of the camera frame would probably help out, as it appears this is related to it. It looks like an unhealthy plant or cactus to me. The perception that the object goes across the room is a trick of the eye and coincidence of the vanishing point of the photo and the angle of the object. In reality I’d expect it is no longer that 2 feet or so and is no further than a couple of feet from the camera.

    If you dump the photo into a photo-editing program and decrease the brightness value of the photo, you’ll see more details come out on the object, as it is washed out by the flash in the original (another indication that it is very close). Still no positive ID, but I’d say it is a woody or plant material stem of some sort, which happens to have some fiber such as fishing line stuck on it, which almost brings up as many questions as it solves.

    Why your friend did not originally notice this is not clear, but it is very common for our vision processes to weed out what it doesn’t deem as important at the moment if we are actively concentrating on something else. See the Harvard Invisible Gorilla Selective Attention Test for further info:

    Cheers, hope this helps!


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