The Ingenious Meaning Behind Red Balls On Power Lines – And How They’ve Saved Countless Lives

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The Balls

Have you ever noticed that there are bright red, sometimes orange and even white balls hanging from the power lines outside your house that reminds your of those decorative balls that you find on your Christmas tree? You can tell that they are strategically placed apart from each other too. While the perfectly aligned arrangement is clearly intentional, these balls are not just there to look great. They do have an interesting and surprising purpose and a very smart one that we will learn today.


The first time that cable operators first used these balls on the power lines are debatable. Some people and experts have mentioned that these balls appeared in Florida and Arkansas in the late 1950s, and some are sure that they saw them in Arkansas only from the 1970s. In any case, these balls are appearing all over the country today and it’s a common sight regardless of which county or state you come from.

36 Inches

You may sometimes have to look closely to spot these balls as sometimes they may not be visibly large. Just remember that you are usually standing far away from these balls that are sometimes hundreds of feet up in the air so it may look small to you. It might surprise you that some of the larger balls are at least 36 inches in diameter in some cases.

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