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10 scientific explanations for paranormal phenomena

We live in a rational world. In a world where there are no ghosts, angels and demons, and creaking floorboards at night result from poorly laid flooring, and not just another visit recently deceased grandmother. But if the ghosts and all the rest is not real, then why so many people are convinced that somehow he had witnessed something otherworldly? The answer to this question lies in the peculiarities of our brain. Science is able to find an answer to sometimes very strange questions, but when it comes to paranormal phenomena, scientific substantiation of these events are sometimes even more fantastic than the myths themselves.

Ideomotor effect: how the Ouija Board

Gathered with friends and decided to hold a séance using the Ouija Board, you may notice that a tiny plastic (or wooden) the pointer at some point starts to move by itself. Moreover, the people actually touching and moving it, be sure that they do not. Although, of course, will be. They're just not going to understand this. It's called "ideomotor effect", and to demonstrate there is a very interesting experiment that you can conduct at home.

Take the thread hang on it with a sinker. Grab the string with a suspended weight and hold. Now ask himself some question about myself and tell me that if the answer to this question will sound "Yes", then the weight will start to spin clockwise, and if the answer is "no", then counterclockwise. If you believe in magic, the weight really needs to change the direction of rotation depending on your response. Moreover, you can be sure that he does it himself, and not your hand. The reason is that our bodies create a subtle unconscious movements. When you ask yourself a question, your subconscious mind responds to it and is barely noticeable causes muscles to move without your conscious participation. Eventually your fingers will move by themselves, unwinding of the sinker and trying to answer the question. You will feel that the weight is spinning by itself.

Absolutely the same effect is happening with the Ouija Board. Your subconscious mind unnoticed by you begins to move a plastic pointer, and it seems that he is moving himself.

Experiment with "Philip"

In 1972, a group of psychologists gathered eight people and told them the story of a man named Philip Aylesford, and then invited the gathered people to call his spirit through a seance. In the room dimmed the lights, sang songs and began to ask questions of Philippe. To the surprise of the people, began to happen strange things. First started to move the table. At some point, one of its sides is bent, and he remained standing only on two legs. Then people started to think that the lighting in the room has acquired some flickering. After this the audience began to hear some tapping sounds and felt that in this way Philip answered their questions. And he answered correctly on each of the questions. In any other situation this would be direct evidence of the existence of supernatural spirit world and summon the Ghost of a dead man, if not for one thing: no Philip Aylesford never existed.


Personality Philip was completely fictional psychologists. Every detail of his elaborate biography was fiction scientists. However, the group of assembled people somehow managed to convince themselves that they really called him a Ghost. The organizers of the experiment used several other psychological effects (tapping sounds and the lights flickering), but in General, all what happened can be called by the same ideomotor effect. People were moving the table at an unconscious level. The psychologists published the results of their research. Later the experiment was repeated several times with other participants and organizers. The effect observed is the same.

Took part in the experiment, the volunteers were confident that they summoned the spirit of the never-existing person.

Experiment with a placebo of Henry IV: how an exorcism works

Demon possession is one of the most popular explanation for many things. For decades, people have explained schizophrenia, epilepsy and a bunch of other mental disorders that the man was possessed by demons. But if not, then how can we explain exorcism? If it was schizophrenia, that's why people were cured from strange spells in Latin? The answer lies in our minds.

At the end of the 16th century, king Henry IV gathered a Council, which was to conduct an experiment over a woman who claimed that she was possessed by demons. The woman said that the congregation – priests, exorcists, and it worked. At first the woman was given the Holy water from the Church. It poured in a regular Cup and said it was just water. Real Holy water had no effect. Then the woman was given regular water, but said it was Holy water, and the woman shook from the pain. Then the woman put a piece of iron and said it was part of the true cross. The woman began to roll on the floor in agony. Also, tried to read a book in Latin, saying that it is the Bible. The woman again began to shake, while reading "the Aeneid" by Virgil. And it was not a sham. This was the result of her imagination.

And almost everyone can be convinced that it is something affected. Recently a group of psychologists undertook to convince some skeptics of the reality of demons. By the end of the experiment, 18 percent of the subjects not only believed in demons, but was still convinced in his own obsession.

The effect of forera: why do people believe in their horoscopes

One day someone Michael Gauquelin placed an ad, offering to all who wish to make free personalized analysis of their personality based solely on their astrological sign. All that was required is to send him your date of birth. On its basis the man was willing to give an exhaustive answer to the question of what kind of person you really are.


Incredibly, 94 per cent of those people who went to it, said Gauquelin perfectly described them. And it's weird because Gauquelin sent everyone the same analysis. In fact, his guessing of personal traits was not based on horoscopes. He simply used very vague wording, and everyone found what they wanted. This is called "effect of forera".

To describe it the attempt of the brain to bind the event not associated to the desired result. The phenomenon is named after Bertram R. forera and his experiment. He gave the group of students identical descriptions of their personality, which said: "you Have a big need for other people loved you and admired you." 85 percent of his subjects were convinced that it was their description.

Paradigm false fame: why do people believe in past lives

The reason why some people are convinced that we are able to remember how was Joan of Arc or the ancient Egyptian workers, it is very easy to explain: they have a very bad memory.

A group of researchers from the Maastricht University conducted a test called "Paradigm false fame". It was attended by several groups of people, are confident that they can remember their past lives. Participants were given a list of names. Then, the next day, they read out a list of names that have unfamiliar names were mixed up yesterday. People who believe that they remember past lives, insisted that yesterday's invented names were names of famous personalities. In other words, the memory of these participants was not very stable. When they could not remember where they heard some familiar name, their brain made up a story to explain who these fake people.

It is believed that the same happens when people make up stories about past lives.

An experiment on the sense of presence: why do people feel the ominous presence of

Here is another unusual experiment with even more unusual results. A group of scientists tying people's eyes and placed them between the two robots. The fingers of the people were attached to the robot in front of them. The machines were set up so that whenever people move hands, the robots behind imitated these movements on their backs. First, it is a little that gave. People tapping my fingers and could feel the finger of the robot taps the same way on their back. But in fact, that they did not care. Oddities began to occur, when the researchers added a delay in the system.


When the finger of the robot has to react with a delay of half a second, people began to feel that behind them, someone is. Some even felt that they are surrounded by several invisible people, others are so agitated that they asked to stop the experiment. The researchers believe that it happened because people lost a sense of control. When I added the delay, people no longer feel the immediate feedback on their movements.

The inability to control the investigation of proper motions in the brain perceives as a sign of another's presence. The researchers think something similar happens with schizophrenics and exhausted people and those who have experienced a lot of stress. They lose the ability to track the relationship between their thoughts and movements, and it makes them feel that in the room with them is someone else.

Why do people feel like hovering over their own bodies

A lot of people felt that they seemed to be floating above their own body looking at himself. Most often this was observed in a dying condition, when people were on the verge of life and death. But is it really all happening or is it just our imagination? To find out, a group of researchers wrote a message on a card and put it on top of the machine in the hospital. Then, when the patient left the room, they asked if that person has a sense that he was floating above his own body, and if so, what was written on the card. Three people reported that they had moments, but none of them could remember the card.

The most strange is that these people are not faking it. Another group examined the woman who claimed to be able to desire to do "astral travel", leaving his own body. Woman hooked up to a machine, fixing activity of the brain, and asked to "leave the body" to see the reaction of the brain. Part of the brain responsible for vision, almost completely deaktivirati, and those parts which are associated with mental images flashed and that meant that the woman is not quite lying. She really began to see my body. But, based on the work of its brain, it can be concluded that in reality the woman never left his body, and spontaneously caused himself hallucinations.

Grieving widow: why people see ghosts

Not all those who claimed to see ghosts are lying. Some people really believe what they saw next to a dead people. And it's not necessarily schizophrenia. To explain it is difficult, however, studied this phenomenon psychologists have noticed a pattern. In most groups of people to find someone who has seen a Ghost, is quite difficult. But with the elderly widows, the picture is quite different.

According to surveys, about 50 percent of elderly American widows saw their dead spouses. Most often they were widows who lead an isolated life, and these phenomena are associated with any period of extreme stress. By the way, is almost always the case, other people can see ghosts, too in similar circumstances. Almost all of them are lonely and find themselves in unusual situations or under a lot of stress.

Psychologists believe that this is the real reason these people see ghosts. It is not that the dead come men. Just extreme stress and loneliness can provoke hallucinations.

Lucid dreaming: why do people believe they have been abducted by aliens

The reason many people think that night they were abducted by aliens, can be much easier than you imagine. The findings of one experiment suggests that these people are just dreaming about it. The researchers gathered a group of 20 people who have mastered the technique of lucid dreaming (the ability to control their dreams). They had set the task: they will take their own dreams under control, they had to separate from their bodies and find the UFO.

Among participants, 35 percent saw in a dream how the aliens come to them and try to take them. All they had to do for this is to think before sleeping about the aliens, then the brain itself was the history of alien abductions. It is believed that the same thing probably happens with people who believe that they were abducted.

Most often this occurs at the time of the so-called "sleep paralysis", when muscular paralysis occurs before falling asleep or wakening to its decline. This creates hallucinations that your bed matched the attackers. A few hundred years ago, people with sleep paralysis reported that in the night they are attacked by the demons. Today, the demons are not in fashion. So, instead of demons now come the aliens.

Infrasound: why does it seem that the house is haunted.

While working at the plant, which, according to rumors, was infested with ghosts, a scientist named Vic Tandy experienced strange sensations. Suddenly, he felt chills, and lethargy. Then the corner of his eye he noticed that he was watching some kind of dark figure. It was all so frightening that the person took the time to pull myself together. When he managed to do it, the Ghost disappeared. Most people would have just run to save his life.

However, Tandy was a scientist, so he decided to test a theory. He was sure that all these strange phenomena were the result of exposure to infrasound – sound waves whose frequency is lower than able to understand human hearing. He turned off the ventilation, which, in his opinion, could be the cause of infrasound. And, of course, as soon as the vent was disconnected, the factory stopped appearing ghosts.

A few years later, the researchers decided to test the theory. When people wandered through the winding corridors, some of them exposed to infrasound. Those people who have been exposed to, felt the change of temperature and in some cases saw a strange phenomenon. All the rest saw nothing. But this is only a partial cause, although the most basic. Additional impact that the staff of the same plant already told Tandy about ghosts. That is, most people see ghosts because you expect to see them.

Translated by «Yandex.Translator»

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