Mystery Spot

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Mystery Spot entrance

The Mystery Spot is a tourist attraction located near Santa Cruz, California. It opened in 1941.

The operators of the small optical illusion site (which is about 150 feet in diameter) claim at that location the laws of physics and gravity do not apply and provide a number of illusions in support of these claims, where water seems to flow upwards, people seem to be standing in slanted positions etc.

Illusion explanation[edit]

One of the many optical illusions at the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot.

The Mystery Spot is a gravity hill, a tilt-induced visual illusion. The illusion experienced by visitors results from the oddly tilted environment as well as standing on a tilted floor. Inside the tilted room of the Mystery Spot, misperceptions of the height and orientation of objects occur.

Even when people are standing outside on a level ground, the slant of the building in the background causes misperceptions as we judge the height of people using the slant of the roof rather than the true horizon.[1]


  1. ^ Shimamura, A. P. & Prinzmetal, W. (1999). "The Mystery Spot Illusion andts Relation to Other Visual Illusions". Psychological Science 10 (6): 501–507. doi:[ 10.1111/1467-9280.00196. ]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°00′45″N 122°00′06″W / 37.012601°N 122.001795°W / 37.012601; -122.001795