At first, Souman wasn't sure if that common sensation was actually true. When lost, he suspected, people might veer to the left or right. But he didn't expect them to actually walk in true circles.
To find out, he instructed nine people to walk as straight as possible in one direction for several hours.
Six walkers forged through a flat, forested region of Germany. Three trekked through the Sahara desert in southern Tunisia. (A sandstorm stopped further testing in the desert). All walkers wore GPS receivers so that the researchers could analyze their routes.
The results, published today in the journal Current Biology, showed that no matter how hard people tried to walk in a straight line, they often ended up going in circles without ever realizing that they were crossing their own paths.
From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by .