Small Talk

Spring break: The Mystery Spot

April 7th, 2014

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!

The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz

The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz

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.

Claus at the Mystery Spot

Claus at the Mystery Spot

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.

Anna poured water on this board and it ran uphill.

Anna poured water on this board and it ran uphill.

"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.

Me in my Titanic pose, leaning forward

Me in my Titanic pose, leaning forward.

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.

Claus in his Matrix pose

Claus in his Matrix pose.

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.

Optical illusion demo - people shrink or grow by two inches depending on where they stand. It's better to see this in person.

Optical illusion demo - people shrink or grow by two inches depending on where they stand. It's better to see this in person.

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!

Crooked trees at the Mystery Spot

Crooked trees at the Mystery Spot

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 Reservations recommended, and parking is limited.

5 Responses to “Spring break: The Mystery Spot”

  1. Ken Conklin:

    I visited a place like that called Magnetic Hill near Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. No admission fee -- you drive there in your car, and there's a portion of the road where water flows uphill and even your car, if left in neutral, rolls uphill. I remember a family who got out of their car to walk their dog, and the dog seemed very confused while looking for a spot to take care of its business!

  2. kuunakanaka:

    aloha Diane:

    Mahalo for sharing the Mystery Spot.

  3. makaha wahine:

    I watched a Hallmark movie where one of the characters talked about going to the mystery spot or something like this. I didn't know it was a real place. I'd like to see it one day too.

  4. M:

    Hello Diane,
    I have heard about place. I would be interested in checking it out.

  5. hanahou:

    Been there it was pretty interesting.

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