I remember as a kid looking out the window of my mom's car and seeing the different colored balls that were on the power lines.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

I wondered to myself what the heck were those things for.

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Well now I'm an adult and with the power of the internet, I have found the answer.

What Are Those Balls That Hang on Power Lines In Michigan For?

They go by several names such as Aircraft warning spheres, marker balls, or aerial warning spheres, and are used as a visual marking of overhead power lines.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

They are placed on power lines to make the conductor crossings visible to aircraft pilots. The conductors and skyline wires become almost invisible against the terrain when flying.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

Helicopters and small planes often fly low in mountain passes or over freeways while approaching airports.

Why Were Power Line Marker Balls Created?

According to an article from United Press International, the marker balls first gained popularity in the early 1970s, when Arkansas’s then-governor Winthrop Rockefeller noticed electric wires whiz by as his aircraft started to land and decided something should be done to make them more obvious to pilots.

Why Are Power Line Marker Balls Different Colors?

If you ever noticed different colored power line balls and wondered if they meant different things, turns out it's all about visibility.

The FAA found aviation orange, white and yellow were the easiest to see, but colors must have to be as easily seen as possible against the background.

That means you might see other colors, depending on where you live.

Watch A Helicopter Install Of Power Line Marker Balls

There is no way you'll ever find me up in the air installing those things.

These 10 Rejected Michigan License Plates Are Hilarious

The state of Michigan released a list of banned vanity plate requests.
There are over 21,000 personalized plates that have been banned by the Michigan Department of State for being dirty, graphic, or hateful. These are some of them.

10 Old School Grand Rapids Menus Reveal How Cheap Eating Out Was Back In The Day

Check out these 10 old-school Grand Rapids menus that reveal how cheap eating out was back in the day.

What Did Michigan’s License Plates Look Like The Year You Were Born?

Michigan is home to so much motor vehicle history. Let's take a look back in time to see some of the cool and interesting Michigan license plates of the past.

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