A bit of fun …Messing about with Gravity


There exists a very strange place on planet earth, so weird that gravity as we know it does not appear to work as we expect.

Here is a clip by well-known skeptic, Brian Dunning, illustrating this weird anomaly. It is located within Death Valley deep inside one of the hidden canyons (Mosaic Canyon) and caught my attention because I was in that exact spot a couple of months ago myself and was quite amazed by it. Anyway, here is Brian explaining …

OK, so what is going on here, is this credible or is there something else happening? Does gravity really behave like this?

If you were thinking “Bullshit”, you were correct, its a camera trick.

Is this a serious claim? Nope, just Brian having a bit of fun. Is he trying to con anybody? Nope, if you watch the video to the end the ever so subtle clue there is the text that appears telling you “I believe in having fun with camera tricks”.

So how does it actually work?

Well, here is a picture I took when I was in the area (click on it to see a bigger image).

Yep, the rock strata behind him is angled and not horizontal, so all he did was to stand at an angle making it look like he was on a level surface when he wasn’t and to then get Richard Saunders to also tilt the camera and so create the illusion.

When I first showed the clip to my 12 year old, she was amazed and quite convinced by the evidence that it was real, but once I explained, the light dawned. She was not alone, if you read the comments on YouTube, it is clear that quite a few were fooled, even with the text at the end of the clip telling you it is a camera trick and also a description below it that reads “Hint.. it’s a camera trick, ok?”

Now you also can see how it was done, but would it have fooled you? … People can and do fool other people, not just for entertainment as Brian did here, but also to scam and profit. In fact, it is often true that the more convinced you are that you are too smart to be fooled, the easier it become to actually fool you.

We live in a world stuffed full of bogus claims, aliens, lake monsters, bigfoot, magic pills with no active substances (homoeopathy), on and on, lots of weird beliefs and scams that are all wanting to take up residence inside your head. That is why critical thinking matters.

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