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Stadium Crowd Waves Differ Depending On Hemisphere

Do stadium waves among excited fans differ depending on which hemisphere you're on? Author Gavin Pretor-Pinney seems to think so in his new book, <I>The Wave
Watcher's Companion.</I>

Do stadium waves among excited fans differ depending on which hemisphere you're on? Author Gavin Pretor-Pinney seems to think so in his new book, The Wave Watcher's Companion.

Thursday, June 17, 2010 2:08 GMT

SOMERSET, England (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Doing the wave in a crowded stadium feels totally different depending on which side of the world you’re on.

That’s one of the theories author Gavin Pretor-Pinney dives into in his new book about all kinds of waves, The Wave Watcher’s Companion (Perigee), out July 6.

Besides ocean waves, sound waves, and brain waves, Pretor- Pinney has been studying stadium waves – aka “Mexican Waves” – created by rowdy fans.

His findings: Manmade waves sweep in different directions depending on the hemisphere. At sporting events in the northern hemisphere, the wave goes clockwise, and in the southern, it goes counterclockwise.

To prove this, Pretor-Pinney has been collecting and reviewing YouTube videos of stadium waves on themexicanwaveexperiment.org.

So far, he’s found that a decent wave requires a minimum of 25 participants and travels at 27 mph across a crowd.

He’s currently observing waves sweeping the 2010 World Cup games and admits USA fans are especially skilled at starting them.

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