Friday, June 28, 2013

Without References People Walk in Circles

Without a guide, people really do walk in circles.  This report came out of Germany in the journal Current Biology.  Stories about people who end up walking in circles when lost may actually be true.  Without absolute references like the sun or the moon, people attempting to walk in a straight line in unfamiliar territory will instead walk in circles.  Researchers had people attempt to walk straight in one direction for several hours through a flat forest or the Sahara desert.  Some walkers had the sun or moon to guide them, while others walked when the clouds obscured their reference point.  When the sun or moon was visible, subjects walked a perfectly straight line, but whenever this reference was absent, subjects invariably walked in circles, often crossing over their own paths several times each.

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