By Diane Ako
The Mystery Spot is a gravitational anomaly located in the redwood forests just outside of Santa Cruz, California. I have heard a fair amount about it but never been until this trip!
Our tour guide, Anna, explained that the Mystery Spot is a circular area of about 150 feet in diameter. As the name implies, step inside this zone and the laws of physics and gravity seem to be suspended.
The Mystery Spot was discovered in 1939 by a group of surveyors, who tried to build a cabin, and found that their compasses couldn't find true north, people seemed to shrink or grow taller, and balls seemed to roll uphill. They decided to open to the public in 1940 as a mysterious attraction.
"Some speculate that cones of metal were secretly brought here and buried in our earth as guidance systems for their spacecraft. Some think that it is in fact the spacecraft itself buried deep within the ground. Other theories include carbon dioxide permeating from the earth, a hole in the ozone layer, a magma vortex, the highest dielectric biocosmic radiation known anywhere in the world, and radiesthesia. Whatever the cause is, it remains a mystery," according to the website.
Whatever it is, it was pretty amazing. A tilted cabin sits directly over the center of the spot, and once the group is assembled outside of it, the guide demonstrated some of the strange phenomena by having a ball roll uphill and water flow up a board.
She then warned us that some people experience dizziness when they step inside the house, which is exactly what happened to me. I got incredibly dizzy and had a hard time walking straight.
A few more demos in the cabin showed how people could lean at a 17 degree angle without falling, all of which amazed and delighted our group.
We asked if the wildlife in the area reacts to the mystery spot, and she said birds generally avoid it, but the few that do fly over seem to often get confused. In her five years of working there, she's seen a few fly into trees when flying over this spot. She said she's seen service dogs get upset when standing in the cabin, and that squirrels also give it a wide berth. She pointed out the redwood trees growing in the spot or on the perimeter are bent. Strange!
The tour lasts 45 minutes and Anna was extremely entertaining the entire time. It's a really fun way to spend a couple hours in the morning!
If you go:
$6 per person and $5 parking. For more information go to http://www.mysteryspot.com. Reservations recommended, and parking is limited.