Monday, May 16, 2011

Walking in Circles

Yes, people, in a featureless environment, will walk in circles. Research found that in the absence of visible landmarks or cues from the sun, people who are lost can’t walk a straight line.

Participants plopped in a forest were asked to walk in a straight line. When cloudy, wanderers walked in circles, but veered randomly left and right, repeatedly crossing their own paths. On sunny days, they maintained an almost straight course. The same happened with volunteers in the Sahara Desert during day and night.

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