A ghostly gray wisp that appeared on a North Carolina man's security footage has given social media a puzzle to solve, and explanations haven't been easy.
Doug Smith of Charlotte posted the footage this week on his Facebook page, after being alerted by a home security system that there was movement outside.
"A strange blob floated past my doorbell camera at 3 a.m. Wednesday," Smith posted on Facebook. "What is it? UFO, ghost, weather phenomenon?"
The 13 seconds of footage shows the orb drifting horizontally across his darkened yard, and then begin to float upward before it "disappeared into a tree top," Smith said.
"I had to rub my eyes a couple times after seeing the floating blob," he told The Charlotte Observer.
Then he started asking questions about what it might be.
Smith, a retired Observer business reporter, is leaning toward a "meteorological" explanation, which is plausible, given the bizarre weather recorded in recent days.
It was sunny and near 80 degrees on Saturday, snow fell Tuesday morning, and frost was forming on lawns Wednesday, as the blob appeared.
Whatever it was, it set off the cameras.
"The camera records any motion in my front yard 24-7 and sends alerts to my iPad," Smith told the Observer. "I check the recorded action every morning for anything unusual. ... The camera is very sensitive and non discriminating about what it records."
He noted: "The only out-of-the-ordinary thing I discovered before this incident was a black cat walking across my front steps."
Good explanations have been few so far, with one person guessing it might be "a fog pocket," while another wondered if it was an animal spirit of some kind. At least one person joked that it appeared at "the witching hour."
"Who'd be blowing bubbles at 3 a.m.?" asked Marti Norwood Shope of Charlotte.