What Are Orbs & Rods?

Written by penny elaine
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What Are Orbs & Rods?
Ghosts have been a topic of interest for many believers and non-believers. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Professional ghost hunters and ghost fanatics have had a long time fascination with the phenomenon known as orbs and rods. Although believers and non-believers may have a difference of opinion about what these orbs and robs actually are, there is no denying that they have become a true mystery and interest for many.


An orb is the number one form of supposed ghost activity captured on still film by ghost hunters and ghost enthusiasts. Orbs are balls of light that vary in size, which believers interpret as the trapped energy source of the spirit, or entity as some like to call them. Ghost hunters believe the spirits inside of the orbs have willingly stayed on Earth because they feel attached to a particular person or surrounding. Orbs are also known as globes, balls of light and globules.


In the ghost hunting world, rods go by many names such as energy rods, light rods and swimmers. Paranormal believers say a ghost rod is a form of a ghost apparition, or an intense amount of ghost energy. Like orbs, rods are mostly captured in photographs, and move at such a high speed that they seem to be zooming across a picture when they are captured. Believers say the streaked textures these rods leave behind are proof that they are of paranormal existence since they show the energy used by the spirit to create the image.

Orbs, or Just Dust?

While ghost hunters are set in believing that an orb captured in a picture is in fact a captured spirit, others might not be as quick to jump. Orbs have been interpreted to be nothing more than a particle of dust, a water spot or another form of a foreign object that came in contact with the camera just as it flashes.

Rods, or Captured Bugs?

Some rods have been found to be nothing more than an insect that was captured flying across the film. Some camera speeds create a frame-by-frame shot of the insect flying, which creates this rod effect. Another simple explanation for this is camera malfunction. When you take a picture in low light, your camera will to focus on the objects in front of it. Once you take your picture, the shutter lens will sometimes remain slightly open, which allows light to enter briefly, creating a "rod" effect in your picture.

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