What in the world are these things?

Went to Greenville over the weekend, and was puzzled the whole way by these things, which were spaced more or less 100 yards apart all along the median of I-26.

I have no idea what they are. They appear to be covered in some sort of synthetic fiber, but moving at 65-70 mph, it was hard to tell. (And no, I was not driving. It was hard enough capturing one of these in a frame on my iPhone as we whizzed by even as a passenger. It took a bunch of exposures to get one as clear as the one above. The blurry one below was second best.) I could not tell whether they were solid — made, say, of concrete — or mere covered frameworks. There may or may not have been gravel about the base.

They were four or five feet in diameter.

Drains of some sort? Shock-absorbing barriers for cars that wander into the median? UFOs? I don’t know. If they are drains, they seem … excessive. Like maybe DOT had some stimulus money it didn’t know what to do with.

Anyway, can anyone tell me the correct answer?

14 thoughts on “What in the world are these things?

  1. Heyward

    Saw them go in when the road was under construction a year ago. Pretty sure they act as filters to keep the drains from clogging as easily.

  2. bud

    I’ll try to get an answer.

    In the meantime I found this letter posted in a link from Buzzflash amusing:

    I live in Joplin, Mo. today the president came and visited our city that was destroyed by this tornado!! We all heard the Westboro idiots were coming to protest! And so did about three hundred bikers!! The bikers all showed up and parked across the street from the University where Obama held a ceremony for the many good people, friends and family we lost!! The only report of any Westboro people actually being there was one guy strolling through all the bikers, when they found out who he was it got ugly for him real quick his shirt got torn off and he was pushed around pretty good! When the police saw what was about to happen they grabbed him and tried to push the bikers back!! Then they told the guy “run you stupid mother f_____” And I am quoting!! 🙂 We heard that more of them were blocked at a local truck stop by a few awesome truckers!! They pinned them in until it was over, not sure about this one just what we were hearing!! You may think of bikers as mean or lawless but when it comes to things like this they really step up!!! p.s. most of the bikes were flying the American flag!!!!!

  3. bud

    Not positive about the green dome over the top of these things but I believe it has to do with visibility cues for the mowing crews.

  4. Steven Davis

    “visibility cues for the mowing crews”… HA!!! A 3-foot diameter visibility cue!!! I guess the 2-foot diameter ones kept getting run over.

  5. Scout

    Alien pods? Maybe they house little robotic mowers that come out at night and mow their sector.

    I think I might have been tempted to pull over and check one out.

  6. Mark Stewart

    Brad’s influenced reporting by The State with his drive-by phone photography!

    Funny, as these filter covers have been used on construction projects for at least a decade (or more). Doesn’t anyone look out the window anymore while driving? Now I’m getting a little worried…

  7. Vickie

    I read the they were for visibility cue for mowing
    Well it looks like mow isn’t going. Grass as high
    As my car in some place what wrong doesn’t the
    Goverener care about how our state looks to visitors
    After it is there money that helps our economy


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