“a gravitational anomaly!”
Dotted across America, there exist a handful of places where the laws of nature don't seem to apply. Compasses spin wildly, vegetation refuses to grow, water flows uphill, and people, well, they just start to feel really weird. The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, California, is one of those places. The Mystery Spot was discovered in 1939, when surveyors who were tasked with building a new cabin found that their instruments refused to work properly on this specific plot of land. While they attempted to figure out why all of their gadgets were malfunctioning, numerous surveyors reported the feeling of a mysterious force pushing them over, the strange feeling of nausea, and found the area to be extremely disorienting. When the land owners found out, they ditched their plans for a cabin and instead decided to capitalize on their bizarre vortex. Rather than build their original cabin, the owners built a large barn located on the small patch of land, created specifically to enhance the disorienting forces of the Mystery Spot. Within the building, brooms stand at an angle, billiard balls roll uphill, and people regularly fall over after finding that they've unwittingly walked up the wall. Located just outside of the barn is a specific patch where two people of the same height will suddenly find that one grows several inches while the other shrinks. When they switch spots, the other is taller, and so on. Numerous people, from scientists, to psychics, to paranormal researchers, have tried to solve the mystery of the strange plot of land, with explanations that range from a UFO crash site, an interdimensional tear, a quirk of physics, electromagnetic hot spots, to just plain old optical illusions, but let's be honest, that's not nearly as much fun to think about. In 1981, psychologist Ray Hyman studied not only the Mystery Spot, but others spread across the country, and determined that they're what he called "architectural funhouses", where nothing was quite level, either on purpose or due to a strange landscape. These "funhouses" have a way of shorting out the parts of our brain that use visual references to orient ourselves, spinning us into a vortex where we feel like physics doesn't work right. Of course, it's all in our heads. Maybe. -Roadtrippers The Mystery Spot is a gravitational anomaly located in the redwood forests just outside of Santa Cruz, California. It is a circular area of effect around 150 feet or 46 meters in diameter. Within the Mystery Spot you will be stunned as your perceptions of the laws of physics and gravity are questioned. But don't take our word for it, come and decide for yourself! The Mystery Spot was discovered in 1939 by a group of surveyors and opened to the public in 1940. The Mystery Spot has amazed and perplexed hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world, and many return time and time again to experience these puzzling variations of gravity, perspective, and height. Some sp eculate that cones of metal were secretly brought here and buried in our earth as guidance systems for their spacecraft. Some think that it is in fact the spacecraft itself buried deep within the ground. Other theories include carbon dioxide permeating from the earth, a hole in the ozone layer, a magma vortex, the highest dielectric biocosmic radiation known anywhere in the world, and radiesthesia. Whatever the cause is, it remains a mystery.The Mystery Spot is fun for all ages! It is a great place to spend a few hours with the whole family from the 45 minute fully guided tour to our wonderful hiking trail. We have a gift store with all things Mystery Spot and more! Come and join us for a refreshing day of outdoor fun!
Had a great time. We showed up at 10am on a Sunday and realized we should have bought tickets in advance online. First available tour was at 4pm. No worries. We checked out the gift shop and snack bar. This place is fun for any age. The tour guide was funny. The Mystery Spot has a steep climb up so wear proper shoes and you won't be disappointed.
Be sure to buy tickets in advance !!!!!
Fun and unusual tour of gravity defying area in the mountains of Santa Cruz.
Trees grow differently and things roll upwards. People lean at extreme angles and don't fall over...several demonstrations and things to try on this simple, quick but fun tour. Reasonably priced and fun for the whole family.
It's a lot of fun. I'd recommend getting tickets online ahead of time. Parking can get a bit rough but I've always been able to get a spot. Just a lot of fun. Make sure you can hike up a steep hill. They wait if you need to go slowly, but it is quite a steep bit. Then, just turn off your brain and enjoy.
Nice stop along our journey. Definitely worth the $8 ticket. Plus, active military is free!
We love the mystery spot - it's a fun place to experience optical illusions and forced perspective. Your eyes tell you one thing and your brain tells you another. Kids love it.
This was a fun deviation. Made for interesting conversation as we continued along our journey. Laws of what you expected from gravity were defied!
I loved it!!! Small from what I expected but so cool. Also downtown Santa Cruz is a must see!
A wonderful and fascinating experience where the laws of nature and gravity don't apply. This place is a hidden gem in the forest, and worth the visit. You can reserve a slot online to join the experience, or purchase tickets in person (*but beware a wait, should you go this route) and while you're in the area, take a breathtaking hike amongst the Redwoods.
My kids loved this. All the Gravity Falls feels. Book your tickets ahead of time!
Be the first to add a review to the The Mystery Spot.
The Mystery Spot
- Sun, Sat: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
- Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Problem with this listing? Let us know.
Credit Cards Accepted