While hiking near Lake Chelan (Washington, USA), I noticed this item affixed to the tree located at 48.150978, -120.493732:


The tree in question is a short hike from a boat landing and right off a trail, but the area overall is fairly remote (designated wilderness).

I was unable to find any markings or other identification clues on the object. It appears to have been placed a while ago, as the screws holding it have been pulled almost completely out of the tree. The item primarily comprises a white, ribbed, rounded rectangular prism approximately 7x5x6".


  • Did it appear the container could be opened? First thought was that it may be a Geocache, or what's left of one.
    – Nate W
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 21:13
  • If this is a geocache, I want to emphasize that it was placed by a highly irresponsible cache owner- no identifying markings, causing damage to nature, among other factors. Alternate hypothesis: Related to introducing the tiny wasps that help control pests like gypsy moths. I don't know most of the details, but these wasps are bred in labs, and then colonies placed in effected areas, but I recall those colonies were usually in something like a paper cup, not plastic or metal. This is pure guessing.
    – cobaltduck
    Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 11:42

1 Answer 1



  • Some form of remote sensor, Perhaps they wanted to monitor microclimate values of temp and humidity on a long term basis.

  • Bug trap. The container fastens with wingnuts, while the bracket appears to be screwed or nailed. By implication the container was intended to be replaced/inspected multiple times. Bug trap would fit this, as would pollen trap.

Finding more information.

Since you have coordinates, find out what national/state forest/park that your location corresponds to. Drop by their office and see if they have a record of any research projects in that area. They are likely to redirect you to one or more scientists connected to a local university.

  • The fact that the tree fixture is damaged and is very close to falling off could be used to justify the enquiry. Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 17:26
  • We could also use the state of the object to justify calling it "litter".
    – B540Glenn
    Commented Jun 24, 2019 at 19:54
  • My first guess was going to be related to geocaching, but I could not find one supposed to be in that location Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 1:18

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