Why Do Humans Walk in Circles when they are lost
If you’re lost in the woods and you feel like you’re walking in circles, you probably are. Without landmarks to guide us, people really do go around and around, found a new study.
The finding emphasizes the importance of being prepared if you’re going to set off into the wilderness or even into a maze of city streets.When lost in the desert or a thick forest terrains devoid of landmarks people tend to walk in circles.
Now comes the question Why Do Humans Walk in Circles when they are lost or People Naturally Walk in Circles ?
Blindfolded people show the same tendency; lacking external reference points, they curve around in loops as tight as 66 feet (20 meters) in diameter, all the while believing they are walking in straight lines.
Only recently have scientists begun to make gains in answering this age-old question. By conducting a series of experiments with blindfolded test subjects, a group of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybergenetics in Germany have systematically ruled out several plausible explanations for loopy walking.
image source : http://factrange.com
Humans Walk in Circles
For example, body asymmetries has been posed as one theory, but the team found no correlation between factors such as uneven leg lengths and right- or left-side dominance and walkers’ veering directions.
The researchers also ruled out random physical errors, such as incorrect gauging of how you need to move your legs to walk straight, arguing that these would cause walkers to meander back and forth in a zigzag fashion rather than to trace out circles.
The researchers believe that loopy paths follow from a walker’s changing sense of “straight ahead.” With every step, a small deviation is likely added to a person’s cognitive sense of what’s straight, and these deviations accumulate to send that individual veering around in ever tighter circles as time goes on.
This increasing curvature doesn’t happen when external reference points are visible, because these allow the walker to frequently recalibrate his or her sense of direction.
When walking down the street, for example, the looming presence of a nearby building (as seen in your peripheral vision) prevents you from curving into it.
Sources : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki, http://factrange.com, http://news.discovery.com/, http://.livescience.com/