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Magnetic Hills: Exploring Roads That Defy Gravity

Usually, it is you who drives your car and controls its speed and direction. But sometimes, in some places, it is the road that controls your car’s speed and direction.

Image Source: Magnetic Hill in Ladakh via Shutterstock

Turns out you don’t need a Tesla to experience a self-driving car. Nature has sorted this out for you. There are many places on earth where you can experience your car slowly drive independently, without your foot on the accelerator. 

You might be wondering what unworldly magical location I’m talking about. Although a less common phenomenon, anti-gravity spots are quite common around the world. These places not only have their own unique story by locals reasoning why things there roll upwards on a hill but are also called by different names in different locations. Some of the names are – Zero Gravity Point, Anti Gravity, Gravity Hill, Magic Road, etc. 

But there is something that is eerily common between all of these locations if you look at the pictures and videos. It is always a single strip of road, has mountains nearby, and trees – multiple of them or just one random tree in an almost barren landscape. 

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Below is a list of 5 places that shall guarantee a Tesla-like experience without costing you an arm and a leg: 

Mount Aragats

Armenia

It is not just cars that drive themselves uphill on the road but also rivers that flow backwards rather than forward. Mindblowing, isn’t it? Nas Daily, a famous YouTuber, described these intriguing slopes of Mount Aragats as the place where “Down is up and up is down, and that will blow your mind.” This sentence indeed aptly describes the gravitational anomaly of Mount Aragats.  

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Magnetic Hill

New Brunswick, Canada

Do people flock here all the time to watch their car drive uphill on its own? Yes, they do. Trucks, buses, and even tour buses come all the way here to experience this magical uphill road defying gravity. The Magnetic Hill is one of the famous anti-gravity spots in the world. 

Cyclops Hill 

Ladakh, India

Image Source: Cyclops Hill at Leh, India via Shutterstock

A famous go-to spot among bike riders and tourists in Leh, Cyclops Hill is a place worth the visit. A signboard situated at the hill will guide you on how and where to switch gears to neutral and experience this zero-gravity moment amidst scenic views of majestic mountains.

Los Banos

University of Philippines Los Banos, Philippines

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Just a little further from the University of Philippines, Los Banos, a short patch of the road awaits to give you this magical experience. It is quite easy to identify this road as many locals and tourists are gathered around snapping pictures and driving but not really driving their cars!

Anti-Gravity Point

Salalah, Sultanate Of Oman

I’ve been here, and I can guarantee that it is an out-of-the-box experience. Put your car on neutral and sit back. Watch your car slowly move forward on an uphill slope leaving you to question all the concepts of gravity your science teacher taught you in school.  

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Why does this happen? 

While folklores of these places attribute it to angry gods, jinns, and trees with magical powers, none of it is the reason. In fact, all of these roads are downhill slopes even when they seem like your car is rolling upwards. Wait, what? 

This is all an optical illusion!

All of these sites have one thing in common (other than their apparent disregard for gravity): the horizon is either curved or obstructed from view. This is key. Horizons provide us with a very useful reference point when we’re trying to judge the slope of a surface. Without a true horizon in sight, objects such as trees and walls — which your eyes use as visual clues to determine perpendicularity — can play tricks on you,” an article in Business Insider explains in detail. 

Kokichi Sugihara, a Japanese scientist famous for his three-dimensional optical illusions, created a 3D model that demonstrated why things seem to roll uphill in a few places on Earth. Also, a study published in Psychological Science in 2003 found that false horizon lines can be deceiving to observers perceiving landscapes.

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Alright, now that we know it is nothing supernatural but a trick of the eye, our eyes will still see rivers flowing backwards and roads pulling cars, trucks, buses uphill. And guess what? Seeing such a gravity-defying sight will always be an unworldly moment and definitely a once-in-a-lifetime thing everyone ought to experience. 

Written By

Automatically vibe with anyone who dreams of becoming the Next Big Thing. I'm either binge-watching random pasta videos or busy turning situations to stories and people to poetry.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Yunus

    May 28, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    So interesting. Didn’t know about this before!

  2. Crystal S. Lopez

    May 28, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    Why didn’t I know about this thing earlier?! Well written.

  3. Yuvraj

    May 28, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Having visited Magnetic Hill, Ladakh. I can assure you the relevance of nature is astonishing, The trick Magnetic Hill plays with your brain and eyes opens a new portal of thoughts questioning rights and wrongs of everything around.
    Thanks to this article, i got to know about two other places as well to add to my travel-list to witness natural phenomenons.

  4. Sumyya Khan

    May 28, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    SubhanAllah ❤❤

  5. Joshua Benjamin Victor

    May 28, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    This brings back memories my family and I made in Salalah. It was fun watching my dad’s face when he left the steering wheel; smiling wide with such childish amazement. Simple things like this honestly bring out the beauty in life. I love this article. Thank you Ms. Safiya for bringing that memory back to me. Hope to read more from you. Cheers

  6. Sunil

    May 28, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    Gravity is weaker at higher altitude, Ladakh lies at 3000 meters above sea level.
    Loved reading a beautiful piece of information.

  7. Sumyya Khan

    May 28, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    I’ve experienced the one in Salalah….a surreal experience!

  8. Manali Momaya

    May 28, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    Amazing! After reading this, I really want to visit these places!

    • Divakar

      May 28, 2021 at 5:14 pm

      Somebody said: if you’re on the right path it will always be uphill.

      Very well and informative write up. 👌🏼

  9. Khushbu Meena

    May 29, 2021 at 6:43 am

    Wowww, I just knew about the one in India.

  10. Angela Alex

    May 29, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    This was such an interesting read. Good job Safiya!

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