Humans Can't Walk Straight: Scientists
And no one knows why
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Nov 27, 2010 11:15 AM CST
This woman cannot walk straight. There have been experiments.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Here’s a fun game: Take your friends to a parking lot, blindfold them, and tell them to try to walk in a straight line. It’s basically guaranteed that you’ll get to watch them fail miserably and bump into parked cars, says German scientist Jan Souman. He tried the same thing last year, only in the Sahara Desert, on a beach, and elsewhere, and concluded that humans are incapable of walking in a straight line without visual reference points.

Scientists have been trying similar experiments since the 1920s, always with the same results, reports NPR. Humans simply can’t walk, swim, or even drive without visual help. And no one has any idea why. Souman says he’s ruled out a bunch of theories—like the idea that maybe one leg is simply longer than the other, or that one side of the brain dominates the other. He’s working on a multi-causal theory, but for now scientists, like the blindfolded, are going in circles.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Your Take
74% of people agree
that it's Intriguing
Check Out Another Intriguing Story
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 19 comments
Nov 30, 2010 11:22 PM CST
Megan! I think i know who you are talking about.. she talks to herself too...
Nov 28, 2010 1:01 AM CST
Hell I get that with tequillllllllla all the time yeha
Nov 27, 2010 6:09 PM CST
I have been seriously wondering for years, and again in recent weeks, if I have something wrong with my sense of balance. My balance is fine, except when I close my eyes. Then I can't stand straight without wavering a bit, and I can't walk without feeling the same sense of being off balance. I think I first noticed this in high school band while trying to stand at attention on the field with my eyes closed. It seems I might not be the only one . . .