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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Right Round Round Round

Enjoy unsolved mysteries?

Here's one for you: why do people travel in circles when they can't see a fixed landmark?




Apparently, difference in limb lengths doesn't explain this behaviour (eg. driving the car) so this remains an unsolved question.

I wonder if you'll see the same circling movement if you make the blindfolded person lie down on a skateboard, so as to position the inner ear balance organs 90 degrees to the usual orientation.

Or if there is still circling if you give the subject a fixed auditory landmark, like a tall loudspeaker.

Via Mind Hacks.


Would you like to know more?

- A Mystery: Why Can't We Walk Straight? (npr.org)

2 Comments:

S.A. said...

I prefer mysteries that have been solved. :-p

Good to see you blogging again. Enjoy your posts.

angry doc said...

For some reason I decided to check your blog after not reading it for months...

I guess we move in circles after all. :)