~Written By Cassandra~   

While surfing around the net, you come to literally hundreds of photographs with white spheres in them. Some are transparent, others milky white. Still others are different colors. A person viewing so many of these photographs would certainly become intrigued and want to know more about them. What are they? In the paranormal world and in paranormal sites the word ‘orb’ pops up. Many people and some that call themselves ‘paranormal investigators’ call them evidence of spirits that haunt a place. I’m not a skeptic but I would like to ask a question. If I were a ghost, why would I come back as a round ball of light? The ‘paranormal experts’ have an answer to this: “Orbs are spirit manifestation, but the fact is that spirits take up so much energy to manifest into a full-bodied apparition, that they prefer to use less energy and manifest as a round ball of light.” This leads me to the next question: How do they know this? Where is the evidence to back this up? Have they interviewed a spirit? What logic are they following? In order for me to research this, I spent a good deal of time reading up on orbs and their history.

I won’t include details of the entire history of digital cameras here, but I will say that I found something interesting. Orbs first started making their appearance in the late 1990’s along with the appearance of digital cameras. As time went by, these cameras became less expensive to buy, (and more people started using them). Consequently, the amount of orbs in pictures suddenly began to grow as well. A deeper study into this and I found the following bit of information on the net in the form of letters replying to a user of a digital cam complaining to the Technical Support Representative: “When shooting with flash, you may notice areas sometimes described as “orbs” or “spots” appearing in the picture in front of your subject. These “orbs” or “spots” usually appear as bright white or gray out-of-focus spots. The “orbs” or “spots” are generally caused by particles in the air that reflect the flash. Examples of these particles include but are not limited to; dust, sawdust, snowflakes, rain or even insects that reflect light. The brightness of these “orbs” or “spots” will vary depending on the distance from the camera’s flash, the closer they are to the camera the brighter they will appear.”  When the person making the complaint wrote back that this was not acceptable and that the camera was defective by design, he got the following reply: “In all sincerity the issue you’re encountering is not a defect, but a matter of physics. The relative distance of the flash from the lens is causing the light from the flash to reflect off particles in the air and back to the cameras lens. This scenario is unfortunately not uncommon in compact cameras regardless of model or brand. This Issue may be less prevalent in cameras that have there flashes further away from the lens, however this would result in a larger camera design overall. This being said I could not guarantee your images being completely “orb” or “spot” free.”

From: http://www.cnet.com.au/digitalcameras/cameras/0,239036184,240060545,00.htm

After reading this, I remembered that the film cameras sold before the appearance of the digital had flashes that were much further away from the lens than the modern digital ones. In fact, one of the cameras I had used before needed flash bulbs cubes that were inserted into the top of the camera. I didn’t remember the orbs then, but I did remember forgetting to send the roll of film to be developed and ending up with hideous color-faded pictures or red blotches where there shouldn’t be any, totally frustrating my secret ambition to become a renowned photographer, but that is another story!

Of course, the whole issue was that there were more orbs appearing in some cameras and less in others. I even found hexagonal orbs and kite-shaped orbs, and began to notice that certain cameras reproduce certain kinds of orbs, or lens flare (if taken in direct sunlight). I also discovered that this had to do with the camera diaphragm in a camera lens, which is an adjustable opening that lets in more or less light. *See Diaphragm (optics) in Wikipedia for more information on this.







So after studying this topic for over a year, and looking at too many orb photographs, I arrived to the following conclusion: orbs in photographs are usually created by cameras and the laws of physics. Take a picture with a flash, and even if you say there is no dust around and that you cleaned the lens, if you are in a dusty environment, chances are pretty good that you will get orbs. More so, if you have walked around a bit before you took the picture.

Picture 1172: Example of dust orbs in a photograph

Dust Orbs

Are all orbs dust, then? No, they are not. Some are moisture orbs, which can be captured when there is humidity in the air. Other orb pictures can be rain, and an interesting point to note is that rain orbs appear to be shooting upwards. This is the way the camera captures them and has nothing to do with the paranormal. Snow is pretty much the same too. Insects flying around make excellent orb pictures, and some show a spooky trail (no doubt due to the speed of the insect in flight). Colored orbs, in my opinion, are a direct reflection of a colored object in the room. So, are all orbs explainable? I am no expert to answer that question, but I can give an opinion based on a couple of orb pictures that have made me scratch my head and stop to think. These, in turn, have led me to believe that there ARE true orbs out there and they are very difficult to photograph. So, how can we tell if it is a true orb or not? Some conclude that the best evidence is when an ‘orb’ overlaps or obstructs another object in the photograph and thus can be measured as to being further away from the lens and compared to the object in question. However, in some cases, this could just be an illusion or simply an over enhancement of the orbs, so that they appear to be on top of an object or covered partially by something. Others say when the orb shows movement. This could very well be so, but this also can be explained as lint or dust in movement. And let’s not forget flying insects! I found some examples of ‘overlapping’ or obstructed orbs, as well as moving orbs on the net, just click the link below.






Are true orbs spirits? Well, as I was saying before, I have seen a couple of pics out there that have made me wonder. And of course, I have come up with a theory. To me, and in my honest opinion, true orbs are not spirits, but energy. I base this on the minimal knowledge I have of Electro Magnetic fields and the disturbance that they cause. I’ve seen a couple of videos and pictures of ball lightning that only confirm my theory.










If electricity can cause these balls of light, then what causes orbs to form if they are paranormal in nature? I believe that if a ghost or spirit can cause electromagnetic interference as shown in anomalous spikes you get when on an investigation, then if the time is right and the conditions are right, why can’t ghosts cause orbs to appear like some kind of electromagnetic discharge in order to manifest? Therefore, while I don’t believe that orbs are ghosts, I do believe that if the conditions are right, orbs can be the energy a ghost displays in a room when trying to manifest in this plane. To me, orbs are simply energy, and ghosts need energy to make themselves known. What evidence do I have to back this up? None whatsoever. Have I interviewed a ghost to put this theory out there? No, I haven’t. I don’t even know if ghosts truly exist or are just a slip in time, or a figment of the past repeating itself in the present. And, until I can prove they exist or a bright physicist who has effectively proved this theory turns up, I’ll continue to believe it.