|“Usually it is a stretch of road in a hilly area where the level horizon is obscured. Objects such as trees and walls which normally provide visual clues to the true vertical, may be leaning slightly. This creates an optical illusion making a slight downhill look like an uphill slope. Objects may appear to roll uphill.
Spots where the illusion is especially powerful often become tourist attractions. Tour guides may like to claim that the effect is a mystery or that it is due to magnetic or gravitational irregularities or even that it is a paranormal phenomenon which science can not explain. This is not true of course.
There are several things which enable us to sense which way is up. The balance mechanism in our inner ears is one system we have, but visual clues are also important and can be overriding. If the horizon cannot be seen or is not level then we may be fooled by objects which we expect to be vertical but which aren’t really.
People often overestimate the angle of a slope. If you are standing on a slope of 1 degree it will seem like a slope of 5 degrees and if you stand on a slope of 5 degrees it may seem like you are on a slope of 30 degrees. Because of this effect the anti-gravity illusion can seem stronger than it should be even when you know the cause.
Even when the true cause is understood it can be difficult to believe. If you think there is a magnetic anomaly just use two plumb lines, one made of iron and one of stone. They would hang at different angles if a strong magnetic field was acting horizontally.
However, it is not always easy to demonstrate that a slope which appears to go uphill is really going downhill. The only reliable way of determining the true horizontal is by careful surveying. If a good topographical map of the area is available it may be sufficient to show which way the land is really sloping. The results will confirm the illusion.
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Contact us if you know about another magnetic hill in your country.
Once we have received enough information about a location (pictures and detailed directions on how to get there) we will make a free home page for 'your' local magnetic hill. The home page will be directly linked to your community. It can be used to draw more tourists to your area and to promote local businesses.
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