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what is an orbe??

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mandydraper | 23:09 Mon 12th Jan 2004 | History
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I took a picture with my digital camera and an eerie 'thing' appeared on the screen. Somebody had since told me this could be an orbe. Does anybody know what this is ??


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There's no such word as 'orbe' in English, though it could be a part of the Latin word 'orbis', meaning 'circle' or 'the world', I suppose. One meaning of 'orb', without the final 'e', is a blank wall-panel or blind window. This is used in architecture, so it might apply in photography, too, to suggest a strangely 'empty' section in a picture.

I wonder whether - since you refer to something eerie - the person was suggesting it had to do with an OOBE which means an 'out of body experience'. (I don't quite see how that fits in with the photographic situation, though!)

Hi mandydraper! There is tons of info. on the Web about this. The word is usually spelt "orb" without the e, so that is perhaps why your initial search wasn't fruitful. If you go to and type in "What is an orb", making sure to include the quotation marks (double quotes) as I typed them, then you will see many pages to read. The quotation marks tell Google that you want it to look for those words occurring together in that specific order, hence your search will be far more efficient. Of course, having been educated as a scientist, I personally don't believe in the concept of orbs, and just for the record on AB, I wish to state this!!
Oops, I posted at the same instant as QM. In the world of the paranormal, "orb" has a different meaning than the one QM had suggested. The Web pages I suggested will tell you the other-worldly meaning!
Basically nothing more than a speck of dust caught close to a camera lens when it is focussed further away and causes glare when the camera flash hits it....nothing paranormal at all it has been a known trick in photography for years but the advent of digital cameras has brought about loads of new users to the technology.
Just to add that if you have sky, watch Living TV and find a programme called Most Haunted with Yvette Fielding and you'll hear the word orb over and over again. As has been said above, it is like a floaty light that appears on film, but personally I think that it is just dust/spiders/moths etc. But to add a bit more, it is said by paranormal people that an orb is the light that appears when a ghost is about to manifest itself. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.
That's a very funny website. It's so stupid it must be real. Does anyone have the heart to tell them they are not actually orbs? Don't get me wrong, I'm not discounting the presence of orbs in the world, but looking at the amount they have shot with a digital camera and slave flash, I bet they are all caused by light reflections / lens refraction and the design of the CCD etc. Many people claim to have seen orbs with digital cameras, however because of the way the pixels differentiate light and dark, in low light environments this effect is common with certain digital cameras and flash. Assuming they are real, orbs are rare, and seeing more than one or two in one shot is very strange. It is like going out with your camera into the street and expecting to see a ghost appear in front of you. I suggest the owners of that site try the same thing with a film camera and see if they can spot any orbs with that too. (oh, and the flash reflecting of rain drops don't count either.....) ;)
Orbs do indeed exist; there's rods too. There's also father christmas and fairies and God ;-)
Just to follow up my earlier post, I managed to get my own orb with my new digital camera! I was doing some building work on my house and took a shot of the inside to an old rusting water tank. l and behold, my very own orb appeared exactly as on the website! ;)

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