Orbs Part 3: Bug Orbs



Orbs 3: Bugs

For our third part, we will be looking at Bug Orbs. To some they look like angels and others they look like faeries. They are neither of them, nor are they ghost energy. They are very natural and explainable phenomena. Bugs! Most of these ghostly images may seem to be something right from the paranormal ranch, that is until you look at how cameras work, and bugs fly.

“These ghostly images are generated by insects and do not related to ghost energy. The similarity between ghost energy and insects images captured on those video camera set to a super night shot modes is; both are having contrails because of its movements. However, ghost energy and images generated by an insect can be easy to be differentiated by looking at its appearance. Most insects flying while its wing flaps that further generates a zig-zag image recorded which is the zig-zag representing the wings.”- Arwin John (2007-2008) – Ghostly Insect’s Appearance. [1]

What are Bug Orbs
Image 1: Bug Orb

Image 1: Bug Orb

They are nothing more than flying insects or bugs suspended in the cameras field of view. Most gnats, and moths when hit with a bright light, from a flash or strong light source with reflect that light directly back to the camera. This gives a ghostly ethereal orb that often has wings and gangly legs. Bug Orbs appear mostly in night photography where a flash or bright light source behind the camera is used. See Image 1.

Though it’s not always flying bugs, on fixed cameras you may get a spider or other bug crawling across the lens or making a web in front of the camera. These can also seem spooky to some, but rest assured these little critters do not mean to scare you. You can also in your hunt notes record if you find bugs and spider webs in the area.

Image 2: Security Camera Moth

Image 2: Security Camera Moth

They also appear on video when the light is coming from the camera or behind the camera, though these may seem like elongated trails. The biggest culprit that generate these images are infra-red cameras. These cameras rely on slower shutter speeds and more capacitive sensors to hold and boost the light that hits them. Security Cameras designed to operate at night with a bright Lightsource tends to attract moths, even the infra-red light source does this. [2] See Image 2.

Bug Orbs Flight Plan

Bugs are small and fast and move erratically, they are often attracted by light sources. If you have ever seen a fly bussing around or a moth desperately trying to get to your light bulb you will have some idea of how crazy their flight plan is. [3] The best way to describe this as a flying brick with the grace and coordination of the town drunk. Some bugs are so bad at flying they will crash into everything and bounce off your head. The humble Cockchafer is a great example of big ambition, drunk, and zero flying skills. Though you can detect a Cockchafer by the droning sound of its wings.

Image 3: A Rod

Image 3: A Rod

The Rod phenomena is a recent one. There is much debate in cryptozoology circles as to whether they are an invisible life form or just something mundane. See Image 3. They are not paranormal or alien. Rods appear when you have a longer than usual shutter speed and a very fast flying bug. You are more likely to see this if your camera is set to auto shutter or exposure in low light. You can even capture these during daylight conditions if your camera is set up wrong.

Many of these Rods look like some kind of finned or multi-winged creatures darting through a photo or video. They are quite distinctive. If you are not knowledgeable about how a camera captures the image, you might be fooled into thinking they are something paranormal.


Also, if you are doing a hunt in an area where there might be fireflies or other glowing bugs, make a note of this. Especially if you leave a camera unattended, they might streak across the frame leaving something that may call a Vortex. Fireflies can be attracted by light, so ay light source will be a magnet for them. They produce a cold like with no infrared Frequencies, so an IR cut filter to block out all visible light will eliminate them from many of your photos. However, you will still get Backscatter from any light source reflecting off them.

Image 4: Slow Shutter Speed

Image 4: Slow Shutter Speed

Exposure and Shutter Speed

The cameras exposure setting are the biggest cause of Rods. Slower shutter speeds give the camera more time to capture light, though can be useful in low light photography it also comes with these problems. If you are aware you are using a slow shutter speed you will more than likely keep the camera still until the image is fully captured. However, many people who have a phone camera or use auto settings on their camera will not be aware of shutter speeds and will move the camera before the image is captured. See Image 4. This can create some interesting effects.

Image 5: Bugs not Rods

Image 5: Bugs not Rods

Even if the camera is perfectly still the movement of the bug is enough to create trails due to the slow shutter speed. This is emphasized more if there is a strong light source coming from the camera or behind the camera. Looking closely at these rods and Bug Orbs you can see the wings and sometimes multiple heads of the insect. On higher resolution, professional cameras it’s possible to make out individual wings and body parts within the Rod. See Image 5.

Strong Lighting
Image 6: Bug Examples

Image 6: Bug Examples

Much like Dust and Moisture, strong lighting is a big culprit for these images. A strong flash or Infra-Red light will give the bugs a weird glow. Though the nature of paranormal investigations will mean most of your work is done at night so trying to avoid strong light sources from your camera or behind a camera is hard to do. So be aware of where the light is coming from especially with infra-red cameras that have the light source close to the lens. Bug orbs come in many shapes and sizes, and no matter how much they look like faeries or angels they are not. For one not all faeries have wings and a lot of them bite. See Image 6.

How to avoid Bug Orbs

You are not going to completely avoid Bug Orbs, but once you can recognise them you can rule them out of your investigation. As always try to avoid strong light sources from or behind the camera and take note of anything bug related you can find. Even if you do not think there is anything around you their will always be some small gnat or insect curious about the bright light it can sense. Also do not squash the poor bugs they probably just wondering what your up to.

Below are more examples of Bug Orbs:

Example 1 Not a Rod100% Proof of the ParanormalExample 2: No winged Bug Orb100% Proof of the ParanormalExample 3: A moth not an angel100% Proof of the ParanormalExample 4 A Bug Orb not a faerie100% Proof of the ParanormalExample 5 Bug Orb Dive Bomb100% Proof of the ParanormalExample 6 Bug Orb not always in night vision100% Proof of the ParanormalExample 7 Bug Orb Yeeting across the frame

[1] Arwin John (2007-2008) – Ghostly Insect’s Appearance – Malaysian Paranormal Research http://malaysian-paranormal-research.org/ghostly%20insects%20apearence.html
[2] Ubiquitous Orbs – Haunted Devon – https://haunted-devon.co.uk/index.php/hd-features/the-ubiquitous-orbs.html
[3] Orbs Explained – Paranormal Milwaukee – https://paranormalmilwaukee.com/paranormal-101/orbs-explained/

Orbs Part 4: Hair and Strings >>

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