Can People Walk a Straight Line Without a Reference Point?

People are almost always unable to walk in a straight line without a reference point. This is true with people who are blindfolded, as well as people who are walking without a clear reference point such as the sun or a mountain. Researchers don't know why people can't walk in a straight line without a reference point, but oddly enough, people tend to walk in straighter lines on sunny days and in more circular lines on overcast days.

More facts about directions:

  • Scientists think that humans are born with an innate sense of direction, but they don't know why some people are better at finding their way around than others.

  • It's not just walking that is affected. Humans also can't drive or swim in a straight line without visual input.

  • The geography of a place doesn't affect our ability to walk in a straight line either. Researchers have replicated these results from the desert to the woods to the beach, and in each place, humans simply can't walk straight without visual input.

Follow wiseGEEK:

More Info:

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?



Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

The U.S. Coast Guard led the evacuation of more than 500,000 people from Lower Manhattan on 11 September 2001.  more...
September 27 ,  1940 :  The World War II Axis powers formed with the signing of the Tripartite Pact.  more...