|Gravity Hills - Magnetic Hills
Our World and Optical Illusions
A gravity hill, also known as a magnetic
hill (and sometimes a mystery hill or a gravity road), is a place where
the layout of the surrounding land produces the optical illusion that a
very slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope.
Thus, a car left out of gear will appear to be rolling uphill. There are
hundreds of gravity hill locations around the world. The slope of
gravity hills is an optical illusion, although sites are often
accompanied by claims that magnetic or even supernatural forces are at
The most important factor contributing to the illusion is a completely
or mostly obstructed horizon; without a horizon, judging the slope of a
surface is difficult as a reliable reference is missing.
Objects one would normally assume to be more-or-less perpendicular to
the ground (such as trees) may actually be leaning, offsetting the
visual reference. The illusion is similar to the well-known Ames room,
in which balls can also appear to roll against gravity.
Magnetic Hill - Ladakh, India
Magnetic Hill is a gravity hill located near Leh in Ladakh, India. The hill is alleged to have magnetic properties strong enough to pull cars
uphill and force passing aircraft to increase their altitude in order to
escape magnetic interference; in reality, the effect is an optical
illusion created by the gravity hill.
The hill is located on the
Leh-Kargil-Batalik national highway, and is bordered by the Sindhu
river. The Indian Army maintains a sikh Gurudwara near the hill where
Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism, meditated in
the 15th century.
Due to both the Gurudwara and the gravity hill, the
area has become a popular sightseeing destination.
hill near picturesque Leh has magnetic properties which attracts
metallic objects, making vehicles move up at a speed of about 20 km per
hour with their engines off.
The ``Magnetic Hill'' is located on
the Leh-Kargil-Batalik national highway, about 30 km from Leh town, at a
height of 14,000 feet above sea level. On its eastern side, flows the
Sindhu, which originates in Tibet and goes to Pakistan.
of journalists, visiting Leh to cover the Sindhu Darshan Festival, were
surprised when they had a first hand experience of the qualities of the
The local administration has put up a
billboard near the ``Magnetic Hill'' for tourists stating that if a
vehicle is placed on a particular spot on the road and the engine is
switched off, it would not slide down but move up.
Swaraj Mazda in which the journalists went for sightseeing reached the
particular point with ignition switched off, the vehicle actually
started moving upward at a speed of more than 20 km.
Magnetic Hills aka Gravity Hills
Magnetic Hills aka Gravity Hills have no special powers nor do they defy the laws of gravity.
They merely are an optical illusion which makes the viewer believe objects are traveling uphill rather than down.
it as a mere fluke, the journalists made the driver of the Swaraj Mazda
take the vehicle back to that point and place it there again. The same
thing happened -- the vehicle moved up. The exercise was repeated
several times with the same result.
Locals and the Indo-Tibetan
Border Police (ITBP) personnel, who man the Ladakh border with China,
even claim that to escape the magnetic impact of the hill, helicopters
and aircraft have to fly at a relatively greater height. And aircraft
which come into the radius of the ``Magnetic Hill'' face jerks, similar
to those witnessed during turbulence.
A few kilometres from the
``Magnetic Hill'' is ``Gurdwara Patthar Sahib'' where Guru Gobind Singh,
the tenth guru of sikhs, had sat on meditation in the 17th century. The
Gurdwara, which has its own religious importance for the Sikhs, has
remained in the oblivion due to its location.
Maintained by the
Army, the Gurdwara is more of a place of prayer for the locals, armymen
and tourists. Not many Sikhs from other parts of the country visit the
It is said when Guru Gobind Singh was meditating here, an
evil soul threw a large stone from the hill top at him. The stone did
hit him, but Guru Gobind Singh was not hurt. However, the mark of the
Guru was left on the stone which is still lying at the Gurdwara.
religious place remained unexplored for a long time and was developed
only after the army deputed its personnel for the maintenance.
The ``Magnetic Hill'' is one of the several unique things which one can find in Ladakh.
|Magnetic Hill - New Brunswick, Canada
Magnetic Hill is one of New Brunswick's most famous attractions... or is
Stories about the mystery of Magnetic Hill have been
circulating since the early 1800s.
People still find it hard to believe
that you can drive your vehicle to the bottom of the hill, put it in
neutral, and be pulled right back up the hill, allegedly by magnetic
force, or is it?
Magnetic Hill is also an entire theme park, complete with the
delightful shops of Wharf Village.
Magnetic Hill - Australia
We traveled through Australia and read in the lonely
planet about this magnetic hill where you can watch your car rolling up
the hill not down the hill.
And as you can see it looks true. Amazing
The slope of a gravity hill is an optical
illusion, and gravity has nothing to do with it. Local guides may claim
unexplained natural or even supernatural forces are at work, but the
reality is less exotic.
The most important factor contributing
to the illusion is a completely or mostly obstructed horizon—without it,
judging the slope of a surface is very difficult, as a reliable
reference is missing.
Objects one would normally assume to be
more-or-less perpendicular to the ground (such as trees) may actually be
leaning, offsetting the visual reference.
While humans also have
a sense of balance to determine the inclination of the ground, visual
clues can override this sense, especially if the inclination is shallow.