RationalWiki's 2020 Fundraiser

There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.

If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2021.

Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with PayPal Logo.png!

Donations so far: $2120Goal: $3500


From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
It's fun to pretend
Icon ghost.svg
Fails from the crypt
A UFO exploring Independence Hall?!
Archetypal orbs. From left to right and beginning from above: a) dust, b) rain, c) drop of water and d) leaks.

Sometimes you get dust on your camera lens, or catch a snowflake, raindrop, or bit of dust as the light hits it, creating a big out-of-focus blob in the middle of your picture. Ufologists and other fanciers of the paranormal call these orbs and consider them evidence of... something. A ghostly presence, perhaps.

Like other camera phenomena, orbs invariably seem to come from certain paranormalists' tendency to miss minor details and avoid critical analysis. Other, more sensible, paranormalists equip themselves with stereoscopic digital cameras to find the orb's true distance from the camera — which of course turns out to be rather shorter than the woo-pushers would like.[1]

Protip: Wanna make your own orbs? Go out with a camera during a light drizzle and take pictures, but forget to turn off your flash. Show to the credulous. Profit. Works better if the flash is close to the lens so you would be better off using a compact camera rather than a DSLR with an externally mounted flash.

The OrbWikipedia, on the other hand, is a critically acclaimed electronic band.

See also[edit]