Mystery Spot

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This article is about the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. For "mystery spots" in general, see gravity hill. For the Supernatural episode, see Mystery Spot (Supernatural).
Mystery Spot entrance
One of the many optical illusions at the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot.

The Mystery Spot is a visual illusion–based tourist attraction near Santa Cruz, California. It opened in 1941.

The operators of the small site (which is about 150 feet (46 m) in diameter) state at that location the laws of physics and gravity do not apply and provide a number of demonstrations in support of these claims, where water seems to flow upwards, people seem to be standing in slanted positions, etc.

Illusion explanation[edit]

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.[1]

Even when people are standing outside on a level ground, the slant of the building in the background causes misperceptions as humans judge the height of people using the slant of the roof rather than the true horizon.[2]


  1. ^ McBroom, Patricia (9 September 1998). "Santa Cruz "Mystery Spot" Explained". The Berkeleyan. Retrieved 7 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Shimamura, A. P. & Prinzmetal, W. (November 1999). "The Mystery Spot Illusion and its Relation to Other Visual Illusions" (PDF). 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