Why Can’t We Walk Straight?

Beautifully animated by Benjamin Arthur.

(via Luc Latulippe)

22 Comments leave a comment below

  1. Love how it is drawn!

  2. I really like that style of animation. Beautiful.

  3. Beautiful! Perhaps we can’t go straight so that we don’t wonder too far away from home.

  4. Was anyone else seeing Jack Black in the first character?

  5. Yes, perhaps Andrew is correct. Could it be exactly a territorial instinct – minimize risk by staying within an area you know or, at least, near enough to the starting point to recover if any problems occur. Each next step is a gamble for outcomes and if there is no chance to reorient wouldn’t we naturally want to stay close to the last “known” point of security?
    D’oh! It sounds like a Flat Earther manifesto, doesn’t it?!

    tks for the post.

  6. Yes, perhaps Andrew is correct. Could it be exactly a territorial instinct – minimize risk by staying within an area you know or, at least, near enough to the starting point to recover if any problems occur? Each next step is a gamble for outcomes and if there is no chance to reorient wouldn’t we naturally want to stay close to the last “known” point of security?
    D’oh! It sounds like a Flat Earther manifesto, doesn’t it?!

    tks for the post.

  7. and the moral of the story, if we insert a Queer element, is that “gay’s Right, no one is straight”.
    (LoL)

  8. The car experiment perplexes me. Assuming the field was relatively flat and smooth, wouldn’t the car’s alignment have more to do with going in circles than the driver’s instinct?

  9. The graphics are gorgeous. But as far the content goes, did he just say that we don’t know what causes it? He doesn’t even mention that the Coriolis effect might have something to do with it. That’s what I learned in physics class back in the day.

  10. its not just humans, animals need landmarks as well.

  11. Can someone with a iPhone4 turn the GPS on the record his path? This has to be verified in 2011 …

  12. …spinning planet, that orbits a sun that moves with an arm in the milky way that orbits a galactic centre.

    Straight is just a ethnocentric concept.

    I’m with Oliver S GPS data would be interesting.

  13. and what …. ?

    what is the conclusion??

  14. Need an Iphone to verify….aaahh the technologists, if its on a machine it must be true, just like the internet.

  15. I’m also curious as to why they all seem to rotate to the right… it goes against the theory i was going to suggest … everyone wants to be a nascar driver…

  16. Coriolis effect

  17. This was verified on MythBusters. They proved it happens when you walk, drive, and swim. The interesting part is, the same person doing the same test yields different results.

  18. Can blind people walk in a straight line?

  19. ITS BECAUSE THE AMOUNT OF FLUID IN OUR EARS THAT HELP US BALANCE ARE UNEVEN SO WE HAVE A TENDENCY TO TURN A CERTAIN WAY! PROBLEM SOLVED

  20. The ‘point of reference’ may be more telling than any part of the experiment. Why is it that people that are unsuccessful often do not have goals which would serve as a point of reference? Is this akin to the same sort of meandering the blinded individuals in this experiment are subjected to? Or is it just a side effect of the magnetic fields we experience on Earth?

  21. ants do the exact same thing. they geolocate (not a word) with the sun.

    seriously hold a leaf above them to block out the sun and they will start dancing in circles for you.

  22. I figure it because you are asking someone to do something very specific, taking away the tools for achieving that goal and then waiting until they fail. Going in a straight line that long requires every step to be perfect.

    For example try building a simple robot with just wheels and motors and try to get it to go in a straight line. If one motor spins even a little faster it will start to curve, if one wheel is smaller by a hair it curves, terrain is uneven it curves, a slight curve is added every time a wheel slips. Without some form of way of checking its course eventually its going to start to curve and that’s with wheels which have a fairly simple motion and are being precisely controlled with a circuit.

    The idea that your brain can’t perfectly coordinate your legs, which contain several muscles and have a fairly complex motion, over long distances hardly seems surprising. Its not that some force is compelling us to turn its just that going straight with no references requires systems we don’t have.

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