Why People See Ghosts, According To Science

Orb photography, on the other hand, is total bunk. Science can have that one.

You’ve almost certainly seen examples of this sort of “proof” of the paranormal — a photo of an otherwise innocuous person, place or thing that contains eerie looking balls of light, also known as spirit orbs. Similar manifestations can be seen on your favorite ghost hunting shows (hint: They’re insects. They’re totally insects.) As far as those creepy orbs are concerned, though, even websites dedicated to ghostly encounters, like Colonial Ghosts, will often write off orb photos as total bunk. So if they’re not spirit orbs, then, what are they?

The orbs that appear in photographs are usually just specs of dust or pollen, insects, moisture in the air, or something on the camera’s lens. When the photographer engages the flash, these things reflect the light and create the image of a large, creepy-looking ball of ectoplasm. The phenomena is actually exacerbated by modern camera design — the closer the flash is to the camera’s lens, the easier it will be for the light to reflect off of particles in the air, and the more likely it is that the camera will capture something that can be mistaken for a ghost. Sorry to be an active participant in all the party pooping, but that’s just a technological truth.

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