Walking in Circles
Grade Level: 6th to 8th; Type: Human Biology
This project explores whether human beings, deprived of any points of reference, will, in attempting to walk a straight course, walk in circles.
- Do blindfolded subjects told to walk in a straight line consistently walk in circles?
It has long been a popular belief that human beings, deprived of any points of reference (such as lost in a desert) will, thinking they are going in a straight line, actually walk in circles. This belief has recently been scientifically corroborated, but the exact cause for the phenomenon is still uncertain.
- Large, flat, quiet, open space
- Test subjects
- Blindfold the test subject.
- Tell the subject to walk continuously in a straight line.
- Observe the path the subject takes.
- Repeat for all subjects.
Terms/Concepts: walking in circles, point of reference
- “Walking Around,” by Natalie Wolchover, Facto Diem: Scientific Facts, Not Quite Everyday
- “Walking Straigt into Circles,” by Jan L. Souman, Ilja Frissen, and Marc O. Ernst, Current Biology
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