Grab a piece of paper and draw a circle. Don't think about it, just draw. Now, which direction did you draw that circle? Did you go CLOCKWISE, like I did? Or did you draw the circle COUNTERCLOCKWISE, which most Americans will do?
Turns out I'm not quite normal; or maybe I'm Japanese (don't think so). An astounding 86% of Americas will draw a circle in a counterclockwise direction. And we'll most start drawing that circle from the top of the page.
In Japan, people did the opposite. About 80 percent of the circles drawn by the Japanese were done clockwise. And most started drawing that circle from the bottom.
It's all part of an analysis at the fascinating website Quartz (qz.com). They looked at public data from a Google online game called Quick, Draw -- where you have 20 seconds to make a drawing and see if the computer recognizes it. (Believe it or not, I had a tough time with a clock -- because my original circle was not all that circular).
They had enough info to come up with meaningful data from 66 countries. Majorities drew their circles counterclockwise in all but two countries, Japan and Taiwan.
So how you draw a circle could be a hint as to where you're from. It's more likely a hint about the way you write. Both Japanese and Mandarin (Taiwan) have similar writing styles, different from our Western style. For a full explanation, you'll find the story at qz.com.
[Credit: Google, Quartz | qz.com, a Quartz analysis]