Richard Saunders brought my attention to this lovely video by the ever creative Brian Dunning….

Any ideas?

48 comments

  1. g, oblique camera – oldest trick in the film book. I s’pose Buster Keaton did this better already in the 20’s, and with more and funnier content vs pre- and post-credits.

  2. The ground clearly isn’t horizontal. Look at the “leaning forwards” part of the video and you can see plants in the background that are also “leaning forwards”.

    Indeed, at the start of the video he clearly states some of the strata are bent.

    1. This. My only question is why he’s making up this gravitational anomaly crap. There’s nothing worse than an illusion that is not called an illusion at the outset or else revealed at the end. This kind of thing fosters ignorance.

  3. The pan in from the right at the start of the sequence convinces you that the strata are horizontal beause there is sky at the top of the shot. Pause the video at the point that you can see the sky (9secs) but this time think that the camera is tilted already. The top of the shot is not “up” in the normal sense. Go forward to 15 secs and look at his stance and the difference in the way his weight is balanced between his two legs. Lots of practice to make it look “normal”. Having been shown sky at the top, then “horizontal” strata with a bloke standing on the “flat” we assume it is all OK until he drops the gravel or leans.

  4. Many years ago, when the Internet was notably younger, I helped found an international political movement for the appeal of the law of gravity.

    We established several branches around the world, including the Anti Compulsory Acceleration Council in Australia (ACACIA), Movement Against Gravity’s Power In England (MAGPIE), Freedom of Acceleration Movement Over the United States (FAMOUS), Israeli Gravitational Lamentations Organised Organisation (IGLOO), Belgian Universal Gravity Resistance Intelligence Taskforce (BUGRIT), and Swedes Against Gravity (SWAG).

    Unfortunately, the movement never got off the ground. But I suspect that with suitable celebrity backing (say, from someone like Brian Dunning or Richard Wiseman), it would have successfully taken off. What do you think?

  5. Weirdly, in Death Valley there is a famous spot where you can stand and recreate almost exactly this. It’s over the edge of large crevice though, which would be noticeable. Simply the wind circulating and pushing you back as you lean over the edge. It’s a very odd experience; really good fun.

  6. It’d probably be slightly more realistic if he actually looked comfortable standing “straight”, but you can quite easily tell that he’s on an incline from the moment the video starts!

  7. I think the poor man has a rare genetic condition probably triggered by cameras. My Aunty Gravity has it but hers flares up when she’s had alcohol.

    1. He is not an idiot, he is a respected investigator of claims of ‘unusual’ happenings. This is just a bit of fun and, I think, done very well.

  8. There are several such gravitational anomalies around in California. One of the more well-known ones is the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz.

    As I understand it, the forces at work are still not completely understood by scientists, but they’re thought to be pretty much everywhere in the universe to varying degrees.

  9. The US is full of places dubbed something like “Mystery Spots” where the normal flow of this or that natural source is ‘altered’. Their purpose is to fleece tourists of their cash. They all eventually are shown as fakes.

  10. Easy; it’s a hill and the slant goes up from left of the screen to the right of the screen. Look at Brian’s legs in the first 30 sec. or so when he’s standing on the “upright” position. His left leg (right side of the screen) is clearly bent and not supporting his weight, whereas his right leg (left side of the screen) is not bent and at an open angle clearly supporting his weight. This shows that he’s standing on a hill, which slopes downward on Brian’s right side, thus the pebbles fall towards his right leg and he can lean the way he does on the film. Totally convincing due to the rocks behind though.

  11. Brian is telling us the truth. I’ve been to this location, it is very weird. It’s a shame that more people aren’t opened minded to this kind of deeper reality. Science says a bumble bee can’t fly too. And I saw a ghost. Crystals heal people and some bhuddists can levetate, and, and, and… oh sod it, be skeptical.

  12. It’s amazing how many of Richard’s readers don’t know who Brian is. He’s a true skeptic and this video is a parody. He doesn’t believe for a second that there are gravitational anomalies here. He’s taking the piss out of people who try to pass this off.

  13. At the time we made this, we felt it was so obviously silly that nobody would take it seriously. Ah, how naive we are.

    In retrospect we should have included a shot at the end showing how easily it was faked, and given a message encouraging viewers to consider such claims with skepticism. That way it would have still been just as much fun, but also it would have done some good.

    1. Blame Richard – he was the one posing the challenge. However, I suspect it wasn’t as easy as it looked – even if the wobbly balancing helped the nonsense byline, I doubt that was the first take.

    2. I at least learned I’m more susceptible to an argument from authority than I thought. I believed the effect without doing my own research after watching the vid, because I listen to your podcast and thought therefore it would be fine to believe in the effect without double checking on my own.
      Embarrassing lesson! Good to get a slap to the face wake up call regarding my own susceptibility to these things!

  14. gravity is not a saperate fource,but it is impact of other three fources which are wornking in each atom.it is depend on quantity of mass.it can not create anergy but use energy.we can’t saperate gravity from mass,i.e.smallest particle of atoms also have gavity.we can’t create new mass so we can’t create new gravity.
    your expirimet is possible becouse so many misteries hidden in gravity.

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