Santa Cruz Mystery Spot celebrates 80 years of defying gravity, logic of guests

ByDustin Dorsey Localish logo
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Mystery Spot celebrates 80 years of defying gravity, logic of guests
The world-famous Mystery Spot is a Bay Area staple that continues to stump even the brightest minds. Here it seems like North is South, up is down and left is right. There is truly no answer to the mystery.In January 1940, a man built a cabin in a place that he was warned to never build. Since that day, 600,000 guests come to see their height change while walking on a level surface and defy gravity by standing at the center of the famous tilted cabin. Can you solve the mystery?

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- In January 1940, a man by the name of George Prather built a cabin in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Northern California in a place that he was warned to never build.

Since that day, mysteries that NASA scientists and Tesla engineers can't answer still occur.

Watch pool balls roll uphill, see your height change while walking on a level surface and defy gravity by standing still.

Can you solve the mystery of the Mystery Spot?

"A lot of people ask me every day what is the real mystery?" Mystery Spot Tour Guide Aidan Lucero said. "But it's a very broad question. A lot of people think that it's a little bit more of an optical illusion, a lot of people think it's more of like a physical illusion and some people think it's ghosts. The main mystery is that this right here is a gravitational anomaly. A lot of people say, 'oh, the cabin is tilted. That's the mystery'. But why is it like that? Why didn't it slide down the hill? Every single time we try to debunk it, it makes us ask even more questions. One answer sparks a million questions."

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Those questions began in 1939 when George Prather wanted to buy the land that is now the parking lot of the Mystery Spot.

The lumber company that owned the land made him a deal that he could buy the land if he bought the hillside next to it.

However, Prather was warned by the company to not put anything on the hill as anything built there slid down to level ground.

80 years ago, in January 1940, Prather built a cabin that would be the iconic symbol of one of the most mysterious places in the world.

"A lot of people feel very nauseous, lightheaded, dizzy and a little bit woozy," Lucero said. "Once they enter the cabin, some people have extreme vertigo. Some people can't even be in the cabin. They won't even look at the cabin."

The cabin slid ten feet down the hill from where it was originally erected to what is known as the center of the mystery spot.

That's where it reached equilibrium and where a team of surveyors found that they had incorrect compass readings up to 180 degrees off.

When you visit the Mystery Spot, you can physically see the cabin leaning downhill.

But when you walk inside, there are six different demonstrations that show the gravitational anomaly that takes place here.

You can lean over at an acute angle to the floor without falling.

A pool ball seemingly rolls uphill despite being on a level surface.

You and a friend can stand in one location and be one height, but switch and completely change sizes despite being on level ground.

The cabin has mystified the 600,000 yearly visitors since the location opened to the public.

"I'm completely mind blown here," Orlando Ahumada said. "The first I came, I thought it was a little bit scamish. But it turned out to be amazing, I had a lot of fun here."

"It felt like I was actually going to fall off and really hit my face on the other side," Connie Jasso said.

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But it's not just tourists that visit the California Historical Landmark.

Many come to try and solve the mystery.

"I had a NASA scientist and a Tesla engineer visit," Lucero said. "I was sitting there answering questions the entire time. I didn't have any answers to give them they didn't have any answers to receive. They couldn't come up with anything."

The Mystery Spot shares similarities with other locations in the United States, but it remains world-famous thanks to a little yellow sticker.

"We got our fame from our our Mystery Spot bumper stickers," Lucero said. "Everyone's seen the yellow Mystery Spot bumper sticker. From that, everyone puts it on their bumper and then it starts to grow. I've been to Montana and I've seen Mystery Spots sticker. Because of that, we bring into over 600,000 people a year."

Millions have visited the Mystery Spot over the past 80 years and many continue to come back to witness the weirdness and solve the mystery.

Even after advances in science, no one has solved the secret and Lucero says that no one ever will.

"I came here when I was a little kid and I was so blown away and what was going on," Lucero said. "Now that I'm here, it's still a mystery to me. To the people who want to come and solve the mystery, I just say to them don't even try. Nobody's figured that out in the past 80 years, might as well just come on down here and have fun and get your mind blown."

For more information on the Mystery Spot, visit their website here.