London Eye Is Falling Down Illusion

The London Eye is a gigantic tourist trap rotating wheel, which you can ride to get a great view of London. The trip takes about 30 minutes. While riding it the other day, I noticed an odd illusion. The London Eye is made up of pods which are attached to the wheel in such a way that each pod is always horizontal. What I noticed was that if you were going up on Eye and looked up and toward the top of the Eye, it felt as if the entire contraption was falling over (i.e. the top of the wheel seemed as if it was falling over.) Anyone have any idea what causes this disorienting effect?
(I suspect it must be related to the similar effect you get when staring up at the spotlight at the Luxor in Las Vegas. The spotlight goes straight up, but from below, looking up at night, it seems as if the beam of the light bends.)

2 Replies to “London Eye Is Falling Down Illusion”

  1. London Eye? You can’t fool me, that’s a great big scary Ferris Wheel! I would no more ride that thing to check out the “disorienting effect” than I would poke a sharp stick into one of my own eyes to find out if it hurts.

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