What Are Light Orbs?

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Light orbs are tiny, hovering balls of light that mysteriously appear or briefly and inexplicably materialize for a short time. Some people have claimed to see light orbs with the naked eye, while some orbs are only observed after the fact in pictures and video. Many people believe that light orbs are evidence of paranormal activity, but some argue that they are a natural phenomenon.

1 Orbs in Photographs

Have you ever taken a picture, had it developed, and then noticed a little dot or speck in the photograph that you could not recall having been there when you snapped the picture? You just might have captured evidence of paranormal activity. Many claim that the small, white, semitransparent balls that frequently appear in developed and digital photographs are light orbs—mysterious balls of energy that are believed to be supernatural or paranormal in nature. While light orbs in photos are mostly white or transparent, pictures have also exhibited orange, violet, red, blue and green light orbs. Some people claim that the different colors represent different energies, from loving entities to children and even sinister, malevolent beings.

2 Orbs as Souls

According to some theories, light orbs aren’t simply a supernatural entity or a paranormal energy; they’re the souls of the deceased. In fact, light orbs are the most common and frequent evidence of ghosts. They appear in still photographs and in video, where small balls of light can be seen floating, bouncing or even zipping across a darkened room, in a forest or, most commonly, in a cemetery. While no proof exists that light orbs are in fact ghosts, many witnesses find that oftentimes, the circumstances in which the light orb is observed are simply too particular to be a coincidence. Light orbs have been seen floating from grave stones, appearing near the recently deceased’s home and even hanging about a grieving friend or relative for some time after the death of a loved one.

3 Orbs and Near-Death Experiences

Some people claim to have encountered light orbs during near-death experiences. Accounts vary radically. Some people claim to have seen the typical white, semitransparent light orb floating from a place where others lost their lives. Other people have said that they’ve encountered bubble-like orbs, colored orbs, orbs of emotion, large orbs, small orbs, and even orbs bearing angels and God. Some people have even claimed to have left their body and entered a light orb upon losing vital signs, only to be transported back into their body and regain consciousness afterward.

4 Skeptics and Criticism

Paranormal energies, souls, ghosts, instruments of the dead—light orbs have been interpreted in many ways since the increase of their evidence with the advent of digital technology. But many skeptics and critics actually point to the advances of amateur photography in debunking light orb myths, claiming that photos are not only easier than ever to manipulate and tamper with, but that digital cameras actually capture and reflect light more easily than traditional cameras, which explains the increase in evidence of light orbs in photographs. Others claim that the swirling balls seen in pictures and video are nothing more than specks of dust. No one has been able to definitively prove what light orbs are, so it is ultimately up to you to decide for yourself what you believe.

Debra Pachucki has been writing in the journalistic, scholastic and educational sectors since 2003. Pachucki holds a Bachelor's degree in education and currently teaches in New Jersey. She has worked professionally with children of all ages and is pursuing a second Masters degree in education from Monmouth University.