Sunday, February 06, 2005

A Spot of Mystery

Is there a difference between "standing erect" and "standing straight?" There is, if you are at the Mystery Spot.

Located in the redwood forests near Santa Cruz (around an hour's drive from here), is a place where the gravity seems to go bonkers. Where balls roll "up-slope," a swinging pendulum comes to rest at an angle to the vertical, where you can climb up walls... Some of my classmates had been there last week and brought back strange tales. Intrigued by them, we (Gaurav, Rajkumar and I) set out in a friend's car.

Mystery Spot PhotosThe gravity exhibits the mysterious behaviour on a hill within a diameter of 150 feet. A guide conducted us to the boundary where lay a level I-shaped platform, one end within the spot and one without. Standing on the outer part, I looked down upon Gaurav who was standing opposite to me at the other end. Exchanging positions, now Gaurav stood taller!

We then walked up an incline to the hill-top where stood a ramshackle wooden house. Outside the house, the guide placed a plank and rolled a ball down; the ball slowed down and faithfully climbed up towards its master... Meanwhile, I was beginning to feel something dragging me towards one side; this sensation grew stronger when I stepped into the house. And all of us were standing at an angle, as was a suspended metallic bob! I found it difficult to walk easily and felt a lot heavier than I am. As Sherlock Holmes would have put it, strange things were afoot...

The guide then did some more experiments with us. In the end, all this left me thinking: True, the house was tilted and this could create a certain amount of optical illusion; but not enough to explain the slanting people, the crazy ball and the giddy feeling.

Mystery indeed...

(Click on the thumb-nail picture for photos.)


PM said...

Hi Dude, gr8 to hear from you from this blog.

Srikanth said...

Hey Prerit,
Good to see you, man! What's up?