Confusion Hill – Piercy, California - Atlas Obscura

Confusion Hill

Piercy, California

An optical illusion found amid a logged redwood forest. 


It has been suggested that instead of calling “images that differ from objective reality” optical illusions, they should instead be called “brain fails,” which is in effect, exactly what they are.

One can experience this strange, and rather delightful, sense of brain failure at California’s appropriately named “Confusion Hill,” one of a number of mystery spots and gravity hills which dot the West Coast. However, because Confusion Hill is a self-guided tour, rather than the tightly controlled tours at other mystery spots, you have the opportunity to explore the forced perspective, Ames room illusion to the fullest. Among the illusions are rolling a golf ball out the window and having it come back to you, standing on the walls, and a gravity chair, which is easy to get into and difficult to get out of.

The other attractions on Confusion Hill, are appropriately confusing, and include a “Redwood Shoehouse” which was used as a float in a 1947 parade, and has been on the hill since 1949 when Confusion Hill was originally built. It also boasts the largest freestanding Redwood Chainsaw Carving at over 40 feet tall, and a mountain train ride on a 20 gauge track.

Unfortunately, though Confusion Hill is located amid a redwood forest, much of the forest has been logged leading one commentator to say that it looked like “a nuclear bomb decimated the redwood forests.”

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