Can thumbnails exist in storage without a corresponding image?

Hello all, My question concerns the thumbnails that exist for uploaded images. Currently we are working on reducing file storage and discovered the existance of 2,8 GB of thumbnails (System.Thumbnail). The filestorage itself is currently 262 GB. Most files are not images though. Images are always shown fullsize. I actually have multiple questions: Is it possible that a thumbnail exists without its corresponding image?  Can thumbnails be deleted without repercussions? If thumbnails can exist without the image itself, how can you locate them?  
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