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Why Orbs are NOT Paranormal...

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posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 12:49 PM
Orbs may quite simply be one of the most argued about “paranormal phenomenon” in the world which to me personally (and I’m sure to most reading this as well) is quite surprising since they have absolutely no paranormal merit what so ever.

In fact it doesn't even feel right to put them in the same category, even with quotes, as paranormal phenomenon.

And if people disagree with that then please do prove to me otherwise.

So my reasoning for making this thread seems to become extremely clear almost straight away there but I’m kind of tired of seeing websites etc. talking about a great ghost photo and then seeing nothing more than an orb in a graveyard or something similar and I so strongly believe that this is nothing more than NOT a paranormal phenomenon that is receiving lots of paranormal attention and I just can’t understand why so I’m making this thread to show those who chose to read it and those people who do believe in them why I think what I think and why I think that believing in them is incorrect.

Although just remember that I respectfully disagree, this isn't a bashing thread on those who have their own opinions.

Ok so what are Orbs?

To the left is a typical image of a typical orb that’s been captured in a typically eerie location which would easily lead something to believe, even paranormal investigators I might add, that not for any real paranormal reason, that this is an extraordinary picture of the paranormal that they have seemingly have captured.

But capturing pictures in these sort of environments when specifically looking to capture something would by far increase the chances of that person believing that what they have caught is something a lot more than what it could clearly be. (I'm talking all photos here not the specific picture I’ve singled out)

Orbs also can come in different shapes and sizes and also in different colours as people have reported to have captured pictures of them as yellow, red, blue, mostly white and others have even appeared as a fuzzy blob, small tiny dots and multiples etc. etc.

They can also greatly vary in size as within a photograph/screen but they tend to appear smaller than 1/10th diameter of the photo frame.

Also please see the diagrams below and please also read the explanation about the sizes and/or and why we see orbs……

Diagram 1

*Point A represents the camera lenss inverted focal point (the point that an object must be past to be in-focus), and B represents the way light travels into the lens. The dust particles that are closer than point A will be out-of-focus, and appear as false-positive dust orbs.(Click here)

Diagram 2

*Point P represents the distance the dust particles are away from the camera lens, and A again represents the camera lenss inverted focal point (the point that an object must be past to be in-focus). This diagram shows how dust particles become out of focus as they get closer to the camera lens. (Click here)

Diagram 1 is a representation of how dust in front of the camera lens appears orb-like when a flash is used. "B" represents how light travels through the camera lens and "A" represents the focal point of the lens, or the point objects need to be past in order to be in focus. As you can see, there are dust particles closer to the lens than point A; therefore the dust will appear out-of-focus, as seen in Diagram 2. When the flash fires (Diagram 1), light is reflected off the dust, back into the camera lens, causing the dust to be illuminated. Because of the angle of the flash and the camera lens, the closer the flash is to the lens, the more prone it will be to dust orbs. The same applies for using nightshot video cameras, the IR light reflects off the out-of-focus dust, causing them to look like "orbs" or plasmoids.

I want to emphasize the fact that orb-causing dust is floating in the air in front of the camera lens, and is not actually on the lens itself. It seems that many people think that wiping their lens clean before each photo session will solve the dust-orb problem, but this is entirely false. The truth is the dust is in the air, floating close to the camera lens (within about 6 inches normally), and there is no way to solve the problem through lens or site cleaning.

Some common characteristics of dust orbs in photographs may be showing some sort of nucleus, elongation around the central axis towards the edges of the photos, a rectangular or octagonal shape, but is not limited to these. Elongation around the central axis towards the edge of the photo is caused by a lens curvature error known as "Coma", cameras with very small lenses and short focal lengths (such as digital cameras) are more prone to coma than other cameras with longer focal length lenses, such as SLR cameras.

Orbs of a rectangular or octagonal shape are caused because of a phenomena that can be defined as "When an object with a similar shape as the aperture of the camera lens is brought out-of-focus, the object will begin to take the shape of the aperture". In other words, if the aperture of the camera is an octagon (the aperture is the hole that opens to let light through the lens), an out-of-focus dust orb will begin to take the shape of an octagon, particularly towards the centre of the image. Another common phenomena that is often mistaken for something paranormal is called lens "Flare", and occurs when a bright light source (most often the Sun) reflects off a portion of the lens, and creates "ghost" images (not really ghosts, but internal reflections) of the aperture of the camera. Generally, flare can be ruled out of most photos taken at night, but can be a problem with shooting pictures during the day.

There is nothing paranormal about the dust orb phenomena, it is natural to any camera with a flash and any video with a light source that isn't in front of the camera (ie, infrared light, spotlights). It seems that many groups still consider dust orb photos to be paranormal, because they don't want to take the time to collect REAL anomalous data. What keeps these groups holding on to the dust orb as phenomena is the instant gratification they get by collecting hundreds of so-called "spirit orbs" in a single night of investigating. The truth is no matter what the environment, there are always air-born particles in the air (except in a vacuum...) that can contaminate your data.

You can sometimes even see the flash reflect off the dust particles when a picture is taken. Also, this phenomena isn't just limited to dust, it also applies to rain, water droplets, bugs, etc.
(Click here)

Ok so as explained above this is why I’m very sceptical about orbs, I feel that most if not all of them can be and already have been proven to be fake or a more earthly explanation has been given rather than the more preferred paranormal one.

And yes I may be wrong and hell if I’m wrong then Great! because if we do indeed prove in the future somehow that orbs that we catch in our photographs are real/paranormal then that's proof of the paranormal in itself which will always a good thing and something paranormal investigators should be aiming for.

So if you believe in modern orb photos then I’d love to know what you think as I’m sure you've realized I’m not as convinced about them thus far but I’m always open to changing my beliefs.

[edit on 20-4-2010 by Rising Against]

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 01:00 PM
No doubt! Orbs are the most ridiculous form of "proof" to the paranormal that exists. It is embarassing to the field of paranormal studies when someone points to orbs in a picture or video. Look orbs! *rolls his eyes*. Give me a break.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 01:11 PM
reply to post by lambs to lions

I agree and I myself have caught lots of them even with (some may question) paranormal activity happening all around us at the same time but I’m still far from being convinced by them as I see no reason to and I have seen no pictures which have change my opinion.

Although please don’t get me wrong I’m always open to changing my opinion on things especially the paranormal and I’d love for someone to come here and completely prove me wrong but as I have said right now .....I'm Not Convinced!

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 05:05 PM
I disagree to an extent. Your lumping all orbs in the nonparanormal category if I read correctly. This is an unprovable generalization. Now I agree that 99.9% of photographed orbs are natural phenomenon. But I have also seen orbs, unphotographed that were not explainable through ordinary means such as ball lightning and swamp gas.

My only suggestion is to leave some room for error. Not everything can be explained.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 06:28 PM
They are kinda hard to get excited about! but personally I won't discount them all! i've seen some great ones before and even video footage of them which was pretty good!

I got some on a ghost hunt at Alton towers the other month actually...look pretty neat but tbh I haven't even studied the pic, so it could be anything!

Nothing amazing but here it is....

[edit on 20-4-2010 by valiant]

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 07:14 PM
Could the orbs be really really small? or do they have to be flying outside? I mean coul the alien orbs be wicked small, I mean so small that they are super small? Either way orbs in Earth's atmosphere are Earth creations not aliens.

I mean if they are able to get here then they would be able to minipulate space and time and be able to not be seen at anysize let alone in our visible spectrum. Why would they interfer unless one of our inhabitates on Earth are some how funking with them somehow. Even if that was true how could a human funk with aliens pissing them off to have them attack such a human being

What I am trying to say is that if they were as dope as they appeare they could be then they would not hope in crappy orbs, they would make their be know unless they wanted to keep socity peaceful while they get individuels one by one.

If this was true could we do anything about it? Or would the government let it happen because ones out weigh the many.

who knows, either way Earth seems to be the 777 of planets. Vegas style without playing the sluots(-u) of slots.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 07:17 PM
I always thought of them as specks of dust. "Hey look at what we caught on camera in a building thats been abandoned for a century!" Yes, a very dusty old building.

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 10:08 AM
When people report seeing ghosts, they see full body apparitions or even the occasional mist. But, apparently, when the camera flashes the spirit rolls up like a RoleyPoley and hides in his protective orb.

Orbs, trails and mist have always been explained away but dust, cigarette smoke and camera straps.

To me, first hand is the only proof now a days. Especially with what even a novice can do with Photoshop or After Effects. #, I reproduced the hallway drag scene from Paranormal Activity using After Effects and a Sony handycam in less than an hour.

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 10:56 AM
I used to think all orbs could be written off as non-paranormal.

Then I saw one with my own eyes. It was floating around a tombstone in a cemetery that is well known for visitors seeing lights in it.

This is Silver Cliff Cemetery in Colorado. The lights of Silver Cliff they are called. These lights have been reported since at least the 1800s.

What I was was a blue sphere moving around a tall tombstone. My friend also saw it. We both stood and watched it. After a while we approached it and it vanished.

So now I accept that most orbs are probably not paranormal, but there are definitely at least a few that are.

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 01:43 PM
All of my pictures with orbs (that I chose to upload) are really, really big. So instead of messing up the thread parameters here, I'll post a link to the album of "orbs" that I uploaded. I agree with the OP that a majority of "orbs" are just dust. However, I also believe that sometimes we catch something else.

Here it is

For instance, in the pictures with my family (2-6 in the album) that was during a holiday get together and we dusted the house from top to bottom. So all of those couldn't have been dust related.

In 7-12 it was a vacation my family and I took to a "haunted" jail in South Carolina. There were nearly 40 people in the tour group. My brother and I were the only ones who's cameras caught anything. Sure, the place was dusty, but, everyone was taking pictures, so it's a little odd that no one else got dust particle orbs if that is what they are.

The last three pictures in the album were taken just over a week ago when I went to the local park with my friend and student. She was digging up some troubled memories from her past and I decided to take some pictures (4 to be exact) and the 3 presented show 2-3 "orbs" trailing around her. They were taken at different times and different angles. The 4th pictures lacks any orbs, but make what you will of it all.

The first picture in the album is of my altar several months ago. My room isn't too dusty, I do a good job of cleaning everything off. I do keep a window open almost year-round though, so I'd understand if something blew in right as I took the picture. But, it's right there centered across my wand above my altar. Again, make what you will of it.


Anyway, I usually write off a lot of "orb" photography as just being dust particles, but sometimes I see things that I just can't associate with dust. Like the times when the orbs are forming from, or right next to a person.

My personal belief has always been that orbs are emotional residue. Who knows though. Sorry if the album link doesn't work, I'm not exactly pro at the BBCode stuff.

~ Wandering Scribe

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 02:00 PM

My personal belief has always been that orbs are emotional residue. Who knows though. Sorry if the album link doesn't work, I'm not exactly pro at the BBCode stuff.

I just checked and yes it works fine.

reply to post by DrJay1975
reply to post by evo80
reply to post by Wandering Scribe

Yes I’ve been on "ghost hunts" where IMO alot of activity was happening all around us and we caught lots of pictures of Orbs as well but with every picture I’ve took that's captured an Orb (and there has been quite a lot) I can ALWAYS find a rational explanation for it.

Hell maybe that's why I don't believe in them, because personally I’ve never experienced them in person (as others have claimed) and I’ve only ever caught them in photographs where I can explain it myself anyway.

So yes I have no problem admitting that what I believe or should I say what I don’t believe in is something that I don’t believe in because I’ve never experienced it firsthand but I do concede that orbs may be paranormal but it's such a small percentage IMO but yes s small percentage is a percentage some will say but I'm still a skeptic in this and I’m going to stick to my skeptical stance until I experience it for myself where I cannot find a rational explanation and believe me I’ve had and will have many opportunities.

But for now I’m going out on a limb as sticking to my claims that they are not paranormal.

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 02:06 PM
Hi Rising

When you have a moment, you might like to take a look at these. A guy from Perth in Australia posts them on Youtube. He (known then as Paul, I think, to protect his identity before he went on Youtube) and his videos used to be featured on an Australian paranormal site, which is where I first saw them. I'll post the link to that site here as well, although don't know if they're still actively attempting to research the case

I honestly don't know what to make of the 'things' in the videos

Please don't be put off by Paul/Stanley's way of speaking. I say that because when he first began posting on Youtube, some of the comments were less than kind, as regards his accent, etc.

If you can, try to watch some of his earlier videos, too (before he gained a following) and was simply posting the stuff in the hope someone could explain it to him

Be interested to hear your own an other opinions

and this is the link to the site where Paul (known then as Stanley) first posted his videos and appealed for help because he didn't know what was going on, or what they were

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 05:42 PM
I'm on the same page as you, Rising Against. I'm pretty skeptical of much of the paranormal scene. Too many simple explanations exist for much of what is commonly labeled as supernatural or paranormal activity.

But, there's always those little events you experience yourself, or with others, where the rational explanations just don't cut it.

I remain patient though, confident that one day everything we've cataloged as "unnatural", "paranormal", or "supernatural" will be understood and explained scientifically.

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 11:53 PM
I agree and I've got experiences myself that I would call completely unexplainable as well and believe me I may believe in ghosts etc. but I remain as skeptical as I possibly can and yes I'm hopeful that one day the paranormal will be by far more understood and studied and become less of one of those subjects we label mysterious.

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 09:09 AM

Originally posted by Rising Against
Hell maybe that's why I don't believe in them, because personally I’ve never experienced them in person (as others have claimed)

This is exactly it - many people must experience something before they can believe in it. It's not a bad thing, just unfortunate. I have been lucky enough to have experienced tons of paranormal things. So I am able to accept that many things are real. I do not just believe everything I read though.

My solution for people who have the mind-set that if they have not seen it with their own eyes, it must not be real, is to go out and look for the paranormal. I think it is also important to at least have an open mind and try and be able to accept that something paranormal might happen. If people are too closed-minded and telling themselves things like "I wont see anything, that is all nonsense" then they will not be receptive to something like a ghost or an orb. The mind is powerful and may even block these things out for the person. I have a very open mind and I think it has helped me to have the experience I have had. So an open mind, a willingness to accept that paranormal things might be possible, and the willingness to go out and explore are all things that will help bring a paranormal experience into one's life.

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 09:21 AM
I believe the concept of orbs are based off of true paranormal experiences, as some have mentioned above (evo80). However, with the popularity of ghosts now on TV and throughout the internet, you have a bunch of morons taking flash photographs in dusty old places claiming they caught "orbs".

Basically, if you used a flash your photo is trash. Show me an image of an orb creating it's own light source, and then we can discuss it as possibly being paranormal.

Edit to add: good post, I like the evidence you present

[edit on 22-4-2010 by samureyed]

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 09:24 AM
reply to post by evo80

This is exactly it - many people must experience something before they can believe in it. It's not a bad thing, just unfortunate. I have been lucky enough to have experienced tons of paranormal things. So I am able to accept that many things are real. I do not just believe everything I read though.

You misunderstand.

I do "go out looking for it" in fact I've been on my fair share of investigations and I'm pretty sure I've come across my fair share of paranormal activity in my life so far and Yes I do believe in certain things that I've yet to see with my own eyes but Orbs are something I'm not convinced of yet and I don’t see why I should be until I experience it myself.

So believe me I'm not close minded or anything It’s just the overwhelming evidence for the fact that Orbs are not a paranormal phenomenon far outweighs the evidence for it IMO.

posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 08:15 AM
I agree that a photo using a flash which is reflecting off of dust particles in the air explains many still photos of so called orbs.

But, a luminscent Orb in a pitch dark room is entirely different.

Which is what I experienced in my home about a month ago.

As I was climbing the stairs in the dark to retire I saw this orb at the top of the stairs flash past me from right to left.

It was approximately the size of a golfball, and grayish blue in color and about as bright as a firefly and moved extremely fast as I approached it.

I Feel that luminescent Orbs can be explained as being similar to ball lightning in that they are manifestations of energy.

posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 12:38 PM
reply to post by Rising Against

I completely agree. Orbs are nothing but dust and other particles in the air. I've seen tests done that prove it. Try vacuum sealing a small room and then taking pictures - I bet you will never see an orb.

posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 12:56 PM
reply to post by Rising Against

This is all well and good when you are talking about the kind recorded in a photograph but when someone sees a glowing orb in the physical universe ... that is an entirely different thing and it cannot be explained away by dust particles and other similar excuses used to debunk the photographed ones.
Not denying many photos are of this nature. But when an orb is seen with your own eyes it defies explanation but cannot be denied at least not by the person who experienced it.

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