“Centre of the Universe” Anomoly

When we think about the centre of the universe the first thing that pops into many people’s minds is space. They think of the vast universe that started from The Big Bang about 13 billion years ago. 

However, there is another ‘Centre of the Universe’ and it’s right here on Earth. It’s not actually the centre of the universe, it’s just the name given to a structure that has some seemingly mysterious properties to it. 

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

What are we referring to?

Created in the 1980s after a fire that forced the rebuilding of a bridge in Tusla, Oklahoma, the ‘Centre of the Universe’ refers to a small concrete circle that sits within a larger circle of bricks. Extending from the centre concrete circle (about 76cm/30inches in diameter) is another circle of 13 bricks which is also surrounding by another circle and so on. In total, the full ‘Centre of the Universe’ is about 2.5 metres (8 feet) in diameter. 

In other words, it is just concrete and bricks forming a circle on the ground with nothing extra or special added to it. 

What is so unusual about this?

Physically, the structure seems quite ordinary, however, it has some acoustic anomalies. There are generally 3 aspects to this circle that makes it so unique.

  1. Echo – When you stand inside the centre concrete circle and create a sound, the noise is echoed back at a much louder volume than the original noise.
  2. Inaudible – Anyone standing outside of the concrete circle cannot hear this. It is only the person who made the original sound, standing in the concrete circle, that will hear this echo.
  3. Distortion – When you are standing inside the concrete circle and someone outside of this tries to speak to you, it will apparently be distorted. 

There are some inconsistencies in accounts by people who visit the circle but the general idea follows these 3 aspects. 

From what we can gather, these effects were not intended and it was more of an accident that they came with the structure. 

Watch this person explore the circle:

“Guy discovers the Center of the Universe, Tulsa OK” by Trueson Daugherty via youtube

Why are these effects possible?

Although there isn’t a confirmed, definite answer, there have been many theories surrounding this anomaly. 

Some theories seem more outlandish or less likely:

Theory: The circle is a vortex of some sort where cosmic energies (https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/5811/cosmic-energy)

Another theory: Ghosts, perhaps from another world are simply haunting the circle and playing games with us. 

And many more theories.

The most plausible theory though, is that the acoustic distortion comes from the circular plantar walls that surround the circle, reflecting the sound. 

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

This isn’t the only place in the world where similar effects have occurred. A few states over in New York lies the “Lake George Mystery Spot” where if you stand in a particular position, the sound you make will form an echo. This place also has similar theories with the most likely again being that the circular walls surrounding the place, reflect the sound. 

Lake George Mystery Spot:

Stir the Echoes – Lake George Mystery Spot” by FiresideGames via youtube

The phenomenal luck (or perhaps it wasn’t) to create such a space is fascinating and the bonus of there being no concrete explanation to its occurrence has made this sight a relatively popular for visitors. 

Regardless, when we have the chance it might be fun to take a look at this outdoor echo-chamber. 

 

For further reading and references:

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-center-of-the-universe-tulsa-oklahoma#:~:text=The%20%E2%80%9CCenter%20of%20the%20Universe,own%20private%20amplified%20echo%20chamber.

Mystery Behind Center Of The Universe Circle In Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma