I was watching a show, in which spirits, in the sense of Spirits you can summon, etc. are a common place in the world. The spirits, generally can be anything at all that is considered a spirit already. For example:

  • Human Spirits
  • Any Ethereal creature (this does not include Angels, as the sense of 'God' does not exist.
  • Anything else.

Note that not all humans become spirits, in fact only a handful do, depending on the life they live, (it generally comes down to whether or not they do a certain something, though that something hasn't been decided yet).

I was wondering if there is any way to explain their existence through some form of nano-science, or quantum-reality shenanigans that I don't know because I'm not great at science.

If not, what is the best way to explain their existence, without the relative term 'magic'

These spirits would be a key member of the 'world' I wanted to come up with, so it needs to be believable.

P.S I'm not sure if the tags are right. Any suggestions to correct via comment would be appeciated.

  • $\begingroup$ I would suggest science based and creature design as tags. Also get rid of world building process $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Aug 5 '16 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ I have added them. $\endgroup$ – ObviouslyJake Aug 5 '16 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ Are the spirits soul of a dead person ? Do all dead people become spirits ? $\endgroup$ – Chinu Aug 5 '16 at 13:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No. Not everyone becomes a spirit. only a handful of them are from humans. Others consist of things such as ethereal beings (like an Angel, but not Angels, because god doesn't exist in this world). I'll add this to the question its self. $\endgroup$ – ObviouslyJake Aug 5 '16 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ I would suggest a parrallel plane vibrating at a similar rate but that's too mainstream $\endgroup$ – Sarfaraaz Aug 5 '16 at 13:35

Naturally evolved or artificially created electromagnetic life forms.

They exist as self reinforcing fluctuations in electromagnetic energy and have very weak interactions with physical matter, but are capable of making light based displays or interact with matter given great effort, much like classical spirits.

Some of these beings take pity upon the matter bound humans and will study and reproduce the electrical signals found in their brain, making a copy of the person's mind into a new electromagnetic spirit form, for whatever reason they generally make these copies when the person is near death. Certain actions by humans may bring them to the attention of the spirit beings increasing their chance of spiritual reproduction.

  • $\begingroup$ Out of all three answers so far, this made the most sense for both me and the populace of the world they live in. Kudos to you. $\endgroup$ – ObviouslyJake Aug 5 '16 at 14:39

Yes, but not as in the animating force of life.

One idea is that the materials that we used to use to build things out of would act as a recorder when interacting with an electromagnetic field. For example, granite recording music. Humans produce electromagnetic fields and it's an idea that under times of stress we produce stronger ones or simply after enough passing the same area we "record" onto these structure and then something triggers to play the recording back resulting in a ghost. If you take this idea an run with it you could explain that some have figured out what the trigger is and the manifestation is able to made into something like hard light holograms who have a limited level of acting and thinking.

Another idea is that ghosts ocurr where the boundary of our reality is "thin" and what we're seeing is beings from other realities. You could have a device or reasoning for how and why you're able to make these boundaries thinner or thicker or how you could control or communicate with those entities since you'd probably them to do something. You'd also have to explain, if you have the same entity summoned mutliple times in different locations, how they know when you're calling them and where it is that they're being called to, but those can all be solved rather easily for the most part.

  • $\begingroup$ This was really helpful, as well as super creative. thankyou. I'll include some of what you have said :) $\endgroup$ – ObviouslyJake Aug 5 '16 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ These are explanations that have been put forth in the real world for ghosts. I had a list of like 7 or 12 at one point, but of the ones I remembe the others have more to do with why we're seeing things not there and not proposing that there are things there. For example, electric fields are known to make some people see things and we used to build on electric fields and older wiring in building aren't as well shielded causing people to see things. $\endgroup$ – Durakken Aug 5 '16 at 17:12


A Long time ago perhaps an advanced alien civilization visiting, scouting left a considerable chunk of self replicating nanobots for scientific purposes, their goal would be to enter the bodies of animals, analyze the different brain structures, DNA, chemical interaction and catalogue them.

During this considerably long time some of these nanobots developed their own form of consciousness, vaguely mimicking the animals and sentient life on the planet. Even capable of better intelligence, energy manipulation capabilities than the naturally evolved creatures. But as they don't have any need for surviving or the desire to expand they just lay dormant mimic creatures, studying them.

If an human comes into contact with this nanobots, nanobots are not visible, it infects their minds, and patiently studies them without affecting their behavior, upon death the nanobots gain some of the characteristics of the humans and mimic them acting like a spirit.


No, there is nothing in currently known science which makes the idea of "spirits" in the popular occultism sense of the term look plausible. If there were, people who believe in spirits would be all over it.

The fact that there are lots of people who believe in spirits, without anything much in the way of evidence, does imply that scientific plausibility isn't entirely necessary when talking about spirits.

People who don't believe in things are often willing to suspend their disbelief for the sake of a good story. However, suspension of disbelief is fragile. A story that relies on it needs to be internally consistent, so in this case, the limits on what spirits can and can't do won't change without some reason that's plausible within the setting.


I think any rationalization is going to come off as pseudo-science, but maybe look at existing unsolved mysteries of physics/science (there are plenty). Then you can offer a proposed solution that also provides reason for spirits in your world. There are some interesting phenomenon, like bubbles collapsed from sound emit light: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonoluminescence

and of course spooky action at a distance / nonlocality / EPR / etc: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/427174/einsteins-spooky-action-at-a-distance-paradox-older-than-thought/

Come up with a seemingly valid explanation for this in your world that also explains spirits?


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