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Dust, rain, snow, sleet, fog, bugs, pollen, spider webs, breath, lens flare and other airborne anomalies can look like orbs, vortexes or ectoplasm in photographs. Discover how these appear with your camera and learn to tell the imposters from the real deals.

Reflection from television

Please remember, a glass of milk and a glass of white paint can look identical, just as some legitimate anomalies can look like camera flukes. These similarities do not nullify all paranormal photos.

Dust storm created by speeding car in parking lot

My husband Stan containing his excitement while beating our sofa with a broom during a dust experiment. These orbs appeared only after dust had time to drift close to the camera lens.

Ocean mist

Lens flare. Peter found this red orb could be duplicated at the same time each day.

Breath on a cold day

Fog

Airplane

Rain often appears to be traveling upwards.