Natural Phenomenon

This section is specifically about different types of natural phenomena that explain anomalies captured on digital cameras and camera phones. It will be catalogued with photographic examples of the misinterpreted results that are not ours. However, they are placed here for educational purposes only and will be removed on request.

 

This is still a work in progress so if there is anything you feel needs to be added, please contact us.

ORBS

These are airborne debris (such as pollen, dust, water droplets, etc) captured by their proximity to the camera and illuminated by the flash. Regardless of what some other teams believe, these are not paranormal and never have been. Any so-called "faces" or "figures" in them is down to pareidolia only. They can also be caused by lens flare or internal reflection inside the camera itself.

VORTEX, RODS OR VORTICES

Usually explained as a vortex, time slip or something inter-dimensional, it's something as simple as a hair or camera strap across the lens, or even drawing something on a transparent piece of plastic and photographing it. We have encountered people who do this deliberately so when reviewing other people's photographs, be aware of this. Other reasons include slow shutter speed and flying insects.

SHADOW PEOPLE

Nothing more than a photo taken with a member of the team or public in the shot (but unseen at the moment it was taken), pareidolia, or a combination of slow shutter speed and movement of someone in the frame. These photos are frequently misconstrued as paranormal.

ANGELIC BEINGS OR FAIRIES

This is down to various reasons - internal light refraction of the camera lens, lens flare or insects caught mid-flight. Contrary to popular opinion, we do not believe these to be angels or fairies but a peculiarity of a combination of factors. Fascinating, but certainly not paranormal.

MISTS OR ECTOPLASM

Often touted as paranormal in origin, mists are very easy to take photos of without even realising they're there - and made even easier by most teams going out only at night. We have heard a few teams identifying mists from their breath that appear on camera as demonic but this is clearly nothing more than wishful thinking (and probable delusion on their part).

Other causes include natural formation of evaporation fog, breath condensing in cold air, "dust devils" and cigarette smoke or even faked by clear plastic crumpled round the lens - but certainly not ghosts, apparitions or spirits.

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