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Invisible Cell Phone Antennas: Hiding in Plain Sight

Increasingly, cell phone antennas (also called ‘masts’ in Europe) are everywhere, and this has led to an increasing number of objections at their placement. One way the industry is dealing with these challenges, is to hide them in plain sight with invisible cell phone antennas.

These invisible cell phone antennas are everywhere, as we can see in this example from comedian Steve Martin, who tweeted a photo of himself next to a Saguaro cactus in Arizona. Of course, it wasn’t a Saguaro cactus— it was a cell phone antenna disguised to look like a cactus.

Steve Martin with a Fake Saguro Cactus
Steve Martin with a Cell Antenna Disguised as a Saguro Cactus

In his tweet, Steve Martin takes Arizona to task. But, it’s not just Arizona— almost everywhere, industry has taken to camouflaging these antennas. In fact, here’s an album of 25 invisible cell antennas designed to hide in plain sight. In fact, there’s a bizarre history of hiding critical infrastructure this way.

Now, this is done with cell towers and antennas, in part, because no one wants to see these towers. They’re ugly and can detract from real estate prices. So hiding them is a benefit. And it makes it even harder to challenge and oppose new cell phone towers.

At the same time, however, it’s a dangerous trend, precisely because it’s so difficult to know the tower is there.

Of course, the type of disguise varies by region— it wouldn’t make much sense to use a palm tree disguise in Maine, or a pine tree disguise in Los Angeles. A quick internet search even reveals a company that specializes in bringing “artistry to cell tower concealment.”

This is just another example of the sheer volume of sources of EMF emissions to which we are increasingly exposed in every day life— and how we can not know our exposures (or their sources) without measuring for ourselves.

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