Monday, 10 January 2011 11:24

Video: Why Can't We Paddle Straight? Scientists Don’t Know

A Mystery: Why Can't We Walk Straight? NPR Video

Ever wondered why you can’t walk or paddle in a straight line when you are blindfolded? Scientists also don’t know why it happens but they do know that without some sort of visual landmark like the sun or moon (or that tall tree), you always end up wandering all over the place.

To help explain what is going on, NPR put together a great animation which is pasted below.

This inability to walk straight is one of the reasons why it’s so easy to get lost when you are in the forest, with no real visual landmarks you are pretty much walking blindfolded so you quickly course yet your mind thinks you are walking straight path.

The next time you are on the water on a calm day, close your eyes and commit to paddling at least 100 strokes without peeking. Open your eyes and discover just how off course you are. It’s amazing. If you are nervous about doing it, get a friend to spot you from behind so they can yell at you if you are about to hit shore.

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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