The curious corner is the only science museum in Chamarel in the South West part of Mauritius. It is for those young and old challenging minds that like puzzles. For a child, it stimulates curiosity and promotes the thought process and growth. Many couples and parents love the place because it favours social interaction where we can meet many people daily.
The corner is a place to celebrate birthdays, to give presents to your loved ones or tell them that you care for them. Telling your other half how you feel about the other in a novelty setting procures special memories. People also visit the place with close families and relatives.
Most visitors to Mauritius visit the place because it parts them temporarily from the beaches and blue lagoon. Though the latter is the main reason tourists visit the island, it sets you up for a different kind of day of unique adventure & strangeness. However, this is how Jane & Jacob, a tourist couple, describes the place- “It’s a world where nothing is quite what it seems”.
The place is opposite the entrance of the Chamarel 7 coloured earth. It was built by a group whose main objective was to surprise visitors.
The adventure at the corner is full of optical illusions that spikes curiosity. There are 40 exhibits set over an area of 5,000 sq. meters.
The time duration to do a full visit is around one and a half hours if you want to get all the thrills of the place.
Below are the activities of the curious corner that will shake your mind.
Jacob and Jane, like all visitors to curious corner, bought their tickets at the car at the entrance. The price for locals or residents is MUR 275, and for a child, it’s MUR 200. Adult foreigners have to pay MUR 475 while a child pays MUR 350. However, there are discounts depending on the peak and low seasons.
The opening hours are from 9 AM to 5 PM, all days a week.
The temperature check due to covid reasons is done at the entrance.
The couple immediately got into a room with illusions where they had to search for the entrance door to the next room. Here things that look like a door are not a door. Make sure you don’t watch the entry to the next room in YouTube videos if you plan to visit curious corners to keep the suspense high up on your agenda!
The upside-down room
The next room that Jacob and Jane visited was the upside room.
Have you ever viewed yourself standing upside down? Here is a place where the earth is above your head, and the sky looks down under your feet. The illusion is so huge that you seem to defy gravity, and it’s not Newton who will tell you the contrary if he was in the room today.
It is a good idea to ask the instructor how to take the best pictures.
Then they got to another room through the stairs that produced music when someone stepped on them. They found it cool. The structure looks like a globe, and it follows you wherever you go into this room- looks creepy, right!
Then they were thrown into a room where they had to tap on the lights for points. All these arrangements were fun and moments of delight for the young couple.
The Ames Room
Next was the Ames room. It’s named after Adelbert Ames, who was an ophthalmologist. He was inventing distorted perspective rooms. The concept was borrowed from him, but the actual plan was worked out by the professionals at the curious corner of Mauritius. The latter did all the calculations, and it is a unique place. It is a trapezoid room where a person who stands on the left appears tiny in front of your giant friend. The room makes people grow on one side and shrink when you go to the other side. It is a picture moment with your friend or loved ones to demonstrate who is the bigger person compared to the other and vice versa!
The mirror maze
Then comes the mirror maze room that challenges the body and the mind. One can see numerous reflections and unthinkable corridors. The optical illusions are fascinating and fun. One can not believe their own eyes. There are 200 mirrors in the maze that sanctions you to find your way in and out of the maze. Jacob and Jane finally found their way out of the room in total confusion.
The Laser music room
The laser music room allows you to play your favourite chink using laser beams. You might be good or bad as far as music goes, but here is the place to test it.
The Corner Café
The Corner Café is located in a pleasing garden where you can relax and enjoy some food before leaving the place. It serves ice cream, pizzas, burgers, snacks and different smoothies, amongst others.
The Gift Shop
If you are at the curious corner, you must consider buying a souvenir to keep the memory lasting. The gift shop ‘Puzzles and Things’ has sales going on all the time and remember to buy your favourite present before leaving the exhibit centre.
The staff at the curious corner are always ready to help should you need ant! They are very polite and presentable. Never hesitate when it comes to enquiring about your curiosity.
Curious corner offers special prices to groups depending on the number of people in the group visiting the place. Consequently, those in group tours save huge while procuring all the joys of visiting the place. Group visits are more fun just because the experience of joy multiplies in the presence of friends, families and loved ones. Imagine being in the mirror maze room and trying to catch someone. You can spend lots of time without success but with tons of promised fun.
You can use the money saved in your promotional entry fee to taste a good cafe. If it’s the winter season, make sure you have one cup before heading to your next visit that is in the open, most probably the waterfall or the seven-coloured earth.
The science around the Ames Room
How has the room been conceived?
The room looks like it is ordinary and boxed-shaped. One assumes that the wall is perpendicular to the line of sight so that the two versions of any person in the room are the same distance away. We also assume that the floor and ceiling are level and parallel, but this cannot be the case to get the illusion that the room depicts.
The room is, in fact, not boxed-shaped at all. It is trapezoidal. The back left corner of the room is much farther away than the right. Since the person is farther away on the left, the image is smaller, although the person is not. The ceiling clue is also misleading. The floor slants upward and the ceiling downward from left to right, making the head of the person much closer to the ceiling when the person is on the right.
Why couldn’t someone see these things and adjust one’s size estimates?
The room’s features have been cleverly distorted to be consistent with a rectangular shape. The checkboard pattern on the floor gets finer grain towards the right. Consequently, the same number of pattern elements fit in a short distance. The windows are resized and shaped to match the trapezoidal back wall.
The narrow-angle of view from the front of the room blocks the cues that will reveal the room’s true shape. As a result, we easily believe that we are in a box-shaped room because that is the shape that rooms normally are! This clever set-up is called the Ames illusion. American ophthalmologist Aderlbert Ames Jr. devised it in 1934 and built a physical example the following year.