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Sunday, August 12, 2018

How smart is your right foot?

While sitting, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles. Now while doing this draw the number six in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction and there is nothing you can do about it. Why does this happen?
The Wizard's foot

THIS effect is partly due to the normal difference in height between hand and foot. That difference,in conjunction with gravity and the earth’s rotation, is enough to affect the body’s highly sensitive limb rotation mechanisms. If you eliminate this difference (for instance, by lying down and holding your right leg and arm at about the same height),your right foot will be unaffected. However, if you reverse this height difference (for instance, by positioning your right leg above your head and your right hand nearer the floor), the effect will be even more marked. This is probably because,with this posture,your head is in a silly position too.

Geoff Lowe
University of Hull

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