Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Insect ghost

Apparent ghost insectI recently posed the question (here), why aren't there more animal ghosts? While animal ghosts are certainly reported, what about insects? I'm not sure anyone would even notice an insect ghost. If you're trying to find an insect in a room it can be difficult to see. You hear insects more easily than see them and they disappear from view regularly, only to reappear later, often nearby. So I'm not sure how you could tell a real insect from a ghost one.

I'm thinking about this because recently I saw an insect on a white wall. Nothing strange about that except that it wasn't really there. It was, as far as I could tell, a ghost insect! Before I explain how I deduced that, I'll show you my attempts to recreate the incident.

In the photo (right) you can see how I got on. The photo shows a 'thing' on a white sheet of paper. The 'thing' has legs and a rather flat body. It looks similar to what I saw in the original incident.

Apparent insect on paperIn the original incident, I was looking at the white wall from an acute angle. From there I could see the 'insect' quite clearly. But when I approached the 'insect', it suddenly looked flat. It was actually a dark mark on the wall. So I drew a similar squiggle on a piece of paper and photographed it from an acute angle. This is the photo above. In the next photo (right) you can see the squiggle from above, looking nothing like an insect. I think the effect is all about the white background. A plain featureless background makes it difficult to judge perspective. So it can give 2-D marks on the surface a 3-D look, depending on what they show. A touch of misperception would have made the object look like a very real insect.

So, my first insect ghost! I wonder if it might be possible to produce the 3-D ghosts of larger objects in a similar manner on a white wall. Perhaps even human figures!

No comments:

Post a Comment