Mysterious shape caught on traffic camera sparks wild theories

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

A mysterious shape captured on a traffic camera in Queensland has spawned numerous theories.

What looks like a bright white light was filmed hovering over the Bruce Highway.

“We've just picked up a shape on the infrared camera,” the Department of Transport and Main Roads wrote on its Facebook page on Tuesday.

”It's north of Tully in Far North Queensland – any idea what it is?”

Debate about aliens and conspiracy theories came in thick and fast, with a few joking the light source might have be “an escapee from Area 51”.

Another considered: “It’s the DeLorean... could it be Marty and Doc.”

“Batman, are you sure it's not Robin?” one person quipped.

A mysterious white light appeared on an infrared road camera in Tully in Far North Queensland. Source: Department of Transport and Main Roads

Source of mysterious white light revealed

The department later revealed the white light was actually something less sci-fi, but arguably just as fascinating.

“Believe it or not – that’s a mahogany glider (Petaurus gracilis) gliding over the Bruce Highway!” the department said.

“Our specially developed launch poles are there to give gliders like this one a place to launch from to increase their chances of safely crossing our highways.

“These little gliders can leap more than 30 metres at a time and they use their long tails for stabilisation.”

The transport authority said on-site cameras were monitored to keep an eye on traffic activity at night as well as to check the gliding possums were still using the poles to navigate safely across the busy highway.

One disappointed road user would have preferred the truth to still be out there, commenting: “We don’t want the truth, let’s just stick to alien conspiracy stories.”

Others were delighted to learn of the furry critter’s safe nocturnal adventure.

“The YOWIE is coming your way, be ready, your (sic) warned,” one added.

The endangered mahogany glider uses launching poles to get across the busy Bruce Highway. Source: AAP Image / Far North Telecommunication Services

Why safeguarding mahogany glider is important

The elusive mahogany glider is an endangered species in Queensland due to loss of habitat.

It is a small gliding possum found in the coastal southern wet tropics region of northern Queensland, according to the state government’s Department of Environment and Science.

The launching poles were introduced as part of the government’s recovery action plan for the species to enable the creatures to cross the Bruce Highway.

They are about 25 metres high, with a rope bridge across the two tallest poles, and rope in a spiral down each pole to help the gliders get up and down.

“There are also cross arms on the poles so gliders can launch themselves into flight – or they can crawl across using the rope,” the Department of Environment said.

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