Photo feature-Mystery Spot

Photo article in North India’s prominent ‘First India’ national newspaper on an unusual place (the crazy house) “Mystery Spot” I visited in California, USA recently. Can read d newspaper copy online also

All laws of science fail inside this 17-degree angle ‘tilted wooden hut’ that is North America’s most notable and oldest vortexes. Challenging gravity the ‘Mystery Spot’ is based in the dense redwood forest, on the outskirts of Santa Cruz, California. My tour guide of this place through a narrow steep five minutes uphill walk took me to the gravity hill where this mysterious wooden hut is sited. I felt somewhat dizzy and off-balance as I entered inside the circular area of effect with a diameter of around 150 feet (46 meters). Geographers and surveyors are surprised to see that in this radius any compass fails to give absolute correct results. They are still finding the actual cause of creating such vortex in the specific diameter. Related to this, there are many speculations formed like there is a possibility that any spacecraft or metal cones might be hidden deep beneath the redwood forest or in the hills that are causing specific current here. Other theories include carbon dioxide permeating from the earth, a hole in the ozone layer, a magma vortex or any sort of dielectric bio-cosmic radiation. But the real cause is still unidentified.

Talking about history my guide informed me that an electrician and mechanic by profession George Prather first discovered this odd place in the year 1939. The very next year in 1940 Prather with a few other surveyors while walking on that 3 acres land they purchased on the gravity hill felt somewhat dizzy or heavy-headed as if something trying to force them right off the hill. Their compass too started fluctuating and giving wrong results in that specific area. At last, Prather constructed this crazy house there and opened the place for the public in the same year.

Situated on a slope and the slant of the wooden hut too form a false impression or misperceptions of the height along with the the orientation of objects. This misapprehension makes people strongly believe that all illusory things they are observing inside the house are real like ball rolls uphill, water flows in the reverse direction and people can even walk on the walls or can bend onwards at different angles without falling. In this vein, because of the tilted floor, I also misinterpreted and laughed to see that the person standing next to me was looking shorter and the next moment he was taller than me. For creating a more the realistic look of the house distorted objects are placed in a manner that forms the illusion of normalcy and makes people believe that they are on perfectly level ground. But they are not. Geographers have theories to explain this illusion and they say that the house is slanted at a 17 to 20-degree angle from the ground and hence a person is also bending on a certain angle that creates the distorting impact on vision. Another point they feel is that distorted orientation causes other senses to fall back while one’s visual senses become heightened.

Mystery spot is a major tourist attraction today. The site is what is known as a gravity hill and was the first of its kind to be built in California. It was officially declared as California Historical Landmark in August 2014.

In the end, seeing a series of strange things inside this crazy house has made me completely puzzled and many unanswered questions are still crossing in my mind. I still want to know that is the place really suspicious or things are fabricated here through our intelligence. But with fun and amusement, I left the place with the “Mystery Spot” yellow-black colored rectangular sticker that one can see on cars rear window very often all over America and in India as well.

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