Paranormal Imagery – ORBS

If you are reading this, more than likely you have seen an alleged paranormal photograph. One has to be very careful when calling an image paranormal. Most of the phenomena in these photos can easily be explained. To debunk a photo you have to have a basic understanding of how an average camera works.

One of the most common culprits of a false positive is known as an “Orb”. Orbs are usually just dust, however it’s not limited to dust, it could also be mist, bugs, pollen and other small items that are floating around us all the time. Picture this… You are sitting in a dimly lit room with a curtain covered window. The curtains on the window are letting just a small beam of sunlight into the room. Upon further inspection you will see all of these little particles floating around in that beam of light.  Why can you see all of those floating around in that circumstance when other times you can’t? Simple… Light reflection.

One common factor with Orb photos is a camera flash. When you snap that exciting orb photo, here is what’s happening…  Your camera is focused on something that is in the distance, you hit the button the flash goes off and the picture is taken. What you don’t physically see is that little speck of dust that is floating around right between the cameras flash and its lens. The light from the flash hits the dust particle and the lens takes it in and captures it in the form of an orb.  That’s why Orb photos are discredited by a lot of scientific research teams, if there is another logical, probable and more reasonable explanation then it can’t automatically be called paranormal.

Self-Experiment: Find a dirt road or a known dusty area at night. Stir up some of that dust. Start napping some photos utilizing the camera’s flash. Odds are the majority of the photos will contain orbs. The loser the flash is to the camera’s lens the more frequent orbs will appear in that camera’s photos.

Orb Explinations:

Rain Orbs

Orbs cause by rain

Dust Orbs

Orbs caused by dust

Bug Orbs

How different bugs can appear.


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