The Orb Zone: Orbs Explained

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  For the first time, presenting actual scientific evidence for the causes of the 'orb' phenomenon








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A Brief History of the Orb Phenomena
 Front Page

Paranormal Site Investigators

Paranormal Site Investigators


PSI manages the Orb Zone project.  Visit their website for more information.



Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena


ASSAP provided the funding for the Orb Zone research project.

 What are Orbs?

Orbs on stills cameras and camcorders were not identified and called 'orbs' until the mid-1990s.


What we today know as orbs did exist before this time but were so rare that they did not excite interest in the paranormal research community.


Photographic evidence of orbs has been traced back to the early twentieth century but none were published or linked with the paranormal until 1980 in Rickard and Kelly's Photographs of the Unknown.  This book defined the phenomena as unusual but natural.  No other examples of pre-mid 1990s orbs being linked with the paranormal have come to prominence as yet.


The effective 'discovery' of orbs took place when, entirely suddenly, paranormal researchers were startled by orbs appearing on dozens of photographs of 'haunted houses'.

This coincided with the mass production and distribution of digital stills cameras.


Orbs became increasingly noted by paranormal researchers in the years that followed. 


In 2002 there was an explosion of paranormal investigation groups following the airing of the first season of UK cable TV show Most Haunted

Most Haunted made the assertion that orbs are the manifestation of spirits, convincing thousands of fans, many of whom went on to become paranormal investigators themselves.


In the years that followed 2002 orbs became derided as investigators saw them too often and the rational theories of orbs gained popularity.  These rational theories were unscientifically tested by scores of researchers but no scientific evidence has been established until now.


At the time of writing most paranormal groups appear to be sceptical of orbs: some rule them out wholesale and many rule them out unless they fulfilled certain 'characteristics' (see your questions answered) whilst a few researchers dogmatically cling to the idea that orbs are paranormal.

Many of those who do rule out orbs have a very poor understanding of the theory involved and, thus, make many errors during analysis.


Despite the OfCom ruling that Most Haunted is a program for entertainment and "should not be taken seriously" they have not retracted their assertions about orbs.  As such many armchair enthusiasts are still convinced that orbs are paranormal.


At the time of writing many families become distressed, feeling they have ghosts in their house, with the main reason being orbs captured on their digital cameras.


We hope this website will help dispel some of the myths about the orb phenomena and educate the public at large.

 Brief History of

 Orb Phenomena


 The Scientific

 Evidence for Orbs 


 Explaining the

 Causes of Orbs


 Your Questions


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