In each of the photo grids below, we will be seeing a series of photos taken over the course of a number of weeks or months; and each occurrence of the pattern occurred directly after many of my photographs showed no such pattern. In no case will we be seeing patterns that showed up in consecutive photos. So I am sure that none of these photos was caused by some camera irregularity (such as cracks or lines on the camera lens). Such an irregularity would cause a photo anomaly that would show up in consecutive photos; but none of these anomalies appeared in consecutive photos.
By using this link you can see the original posts in which I first presented the photos below.
The "Inverted Y" Pattern
I have so far taken 7 photos of mysterious orbs that had a set of stripes resembling an upside-down Y. Below are 6 of them.
Below is an additional occurrence of the pattern.
The "Umbilical Cord" Pattern
I have so far taken 10 photos of mysterious orbs that had a set of stripes resembling a looped umbilical cord. They are shown below. Note the common elements of the pattern: a vertical stripe twisting over to the right and then twisting back again to the left, forming a loop with a little circle in the middle (and also a little stripe part underneath the loop).
The "Curved Stripe at Top or Bottom" Pattern
I have so far taken 9 photos of mysterious orbs that had a curved stripe at the top or bottom of the orb. Six of the photos are shown below.
Two other examples are below.
I've photographed many different orbs with curved stripes like this, and the stripes sometimes appear on the side of the orb. See here for 44 orbs I have photographed with curved stripes.
The "Diagonal Slash" Pattern
I have so far taken 19 photos of mysterious orbs that had a diagonal slash that goes from one side of the orb to another, with a resemblance to a slash rather than a backslash. Below are ten of the photos. You can see the original posts in which I published these photos here.
Here are four more photos showing the same pattern:
Here are four more photos showing the same pattern. Astonishingly, the one on the top left actually has an orb with a diagonal slash in the middle of an orb with a diagonal slash.
The Backslash Pattern
I have so far taken 6 photos of mysterious orbs that had a diagonal slash that goes from one side of the orb to another, with a resemblance to a backslash rather than a slash. The photos are below.
Here are two more examples.
I have five times photographed mysterious orbs with a short diagonal stripe stretching from the top right corner of the orb to about the center of the orb. These look like the "diagonal slash" orbs shown above, except that the stripe or slash is only half as long. Below are four of these orbs.
The "Hose and Circle" Pattern
I have nine times photographed mysterious orbs with a strange pattern resembling a ball that has fallen out of a tube. Below are eight examples. In each case the circular or oval "ball" is found underneath the "tube."
The "Slanted C" Pattern
I have 12 times photographed mysterious orbs with a stripe resembling the letter C, slanted over quite a bit to the right. Ten of the photos are below.
The "Inverted V" Pattern
I have four times photographed mysterious orbs with an upside-down V inside them. Below are the examples.
The "Hook-like Stripe" Pattern
I have four times photographed mysterious orbs with a hook-like feature inside them. Below are the examples.
The "Curvy 9 Which Fell Down" Pattern
For lack of a better description, "Curvy 9 Which Fell Down" is my name for the strange pattern below that I have twice photographed in mysterious orbs.
The "4 Stripes" Pattern
I have twice photographed the extremely distinctive pattern below in mysterious orbs.
I have three times photographed a strange pattern consisting of one wiggly horizontal stripe at the top above a vertical stripe at the bottom. Below are the examples.
I have two times photographed mysterious orbs with a stripe resembling a hockey stick. The photos are below.
The Belt-Like Pattern
I have 11 times photographed mysterious orbs with a stripe stretching horizontally from the left side of the orb to the right side. Below are these photos of orbs with belt-like stripes.
Here are two more examples, which oddly occurred near the same spot (ornamental window frames at the top of Grand Central Terminal).
Something else that can be considered a recurring pattern in mysterious orbs is the fact that they often have outer rings that have about 80% of the width of the orb. See here, here, and here for three posters that show a total of 48 such ringed orbs.
The Water Face Effect
The most dramatic example of a recurring orb pattern is what I call the water face effect, described here. The recurring pattern is a simple face. I have taken more than 300 photos showing multiple examples of this pattern, as you can see here. A video compiling many of these photos is here.
What is the chance of any photographer getting this many pattern repetitions purely by coincidence? The odds of that is essentially zero.
Whenever you have anything that can take on any look, there are always a gigantic number of possibilities for the way that thing can look. So the chance of that thing looking the same distinctive way two different times due to a coincidence is very low.
Consider the following math. Imagine there are two strangers in different houses who are each told to randomly arrange 23 black tiles on a scrabble board that is a 15 by 15 grid. There are 225 places for the first person to arrange his first tile, so the chance that they will both place the first tile in the same spot on the grid is 1 in 225. The chance that they both will put the second tile on the same spot on the 15 by 15 grid is 1 in 224, because now one of the spots on the grid is already filled. We can calculate the chance of the two strangers randomly positioning their tiles on exactly the same 23 spots on the 15 by 15 grid as follows: it is
(1/225) *(1/224) *(1/223)*(1/222)*(1/221)*(1/220)*(1/219)*(1/218)*(1/217)*(1/216)*(1/215) *(1/214) *(1/213)*(1/212)*(1/211)*(1/210)*(1/209)*(1/208)*(1/207)*(1/206)*(1/205) *(1/204) *(1/203).
This equals 1 in 2 x 1054 -- which is about 1 chance in 1 followed by 54 zeroes. This is about the chance of you meeting 6 strangers, and correctly guessing all of their 9-digit Social Security numbers on the first try.
This calculation simply gives us a hint of how fantastically improbable it is that two random patterns will coincidentally match. If we were to calculate the probability of getting by chance the number of pattern matches shown above by coincidental arrangements of matter, the answer would be some probability much, much smaller than the microscopic probability mentioned above.