Pictures of ghostly orbs abound on the Internet. You can even take your own ghost pictures, if you are so inclined. But are pictures of orbs real ghost pictures?
What Are Orbs?
First, a little background. Orbs are round spots that appear in a picture once it has been developed (or in the case of a digital camera, once the picture is taken). They are not visible to the naked eye. Orbs move around and can be captured in motion on video, leaving white streaks behind.
Is an orb a ghost?
Opinions are divided. Orbs are one of the most hotly disputed topics in the paranormal investigation community, and theories abound. Some believe orbs represent real ghosts. In terms of energy and the world of physics, a circle is the shape which takes the least amount of energy to form. A more defined form, such as a face or an entire body, would take vastly more energy.
Others theorize that orbs are not really ghosts, but rather energy being transferred from another source, such as a powerline or even a child, to a spirit so it can manifest in the physical world. This theory links the presence of orbs to the EMT readings taken during paranormal events.
Still others point to the possibility of some other paranormal phenomenon, such as a poltergeist or even aliens.
Is There a Non-Supernatural Explanation for Orbs?
Yes, and even those who believe orb photos represent paranormal activity admit that many so-called orb photos are actually false. Skeptics point to several factors that can create a "false orb," including airborne dust particles, water droplets or pollen reflecting off the sunlight or camera flash. Many pictures of orbs are taken in cemeteries, where the photographers are likely to have kicked up particles just by walking around. One group of researchers took pictures in a cemetery and a football field on the same night, and found "orbs" in both sets of photos. Skeptics also traditionally pointed to possible film processing errors, but with the proliferation of digital cameras, this objection has faded.
So are orbs pictures of real ghosts? Judge for yourself.
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