Cities receive their unique nicknames for one reason or another. In northeastern Oklahoma, Tulsa is dubbed the "Center of the Universe" due to a mysterious phenomenon.
During the 1980s, the old Boston Street Bridge in Tulsa was badly damaged in a fire. Local officials rebuilt the site as a pedestrian walkway containing cement planters and concrete terrorist barriers. A swirly pattern of bricks was set into the pavement of a railroad overpass to hide an expansion joint.
To visit the Center of the Universe, tourists must walk up a set of stairs and stand in the small concrete circle in the Brady Arts District. The concrete circle mark is surrounded by planters and benches, which form a larger circle around it.
The small, well-worn disc of cement at the center of the swirl is usually mistaken for a manhole cover, yet it naturally attracts passers-by as a kind of bulls-eye. In this 30-foot paved circle, they can speak or make sounds and experience the odd acoustic experience.
If someone stands on the disc and speaks, their voice reflects to them in amplified and distorted form. A person can also talk quietly and be heard distinctly at the other end of the court, 500 feet away. Louder and outside noises are also warped. Meanwhile, the sound that echoed back is also several times more audible than it was made.
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