Mystery Tourist Attraction: Magnetic Hill Explained
In New Brunswick, Canada there is a hill that seems to defy gravity-rivers run uphill and cars drift backwards as if pulled by a mysterious magnetic force. This mysterious place is appropriately named, Magnetic Hill. The folklore of the area states the spot became a tourist attraction as far back as the early 1930s. A group of newspaper reporters drove out to investigate several reports of cars rolling uphill and subsequently, published a story on the natural phenomenon.
Is The Magnetic Hill Magnetic?[caption id="attachment_892" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo by Luhar[/caption]
As much as we would be intrigued by a powerful magnetic energy that can pull cars uphill, the power behind these sites isn’t actually magnetism. Instead, it is an optical illusion created by the unusual terrain of the land. Slopes that are actually downhill appear to be uphill, causing visitors to believe that the spots defy gravity. One of the indicators that suggest the hill is not magnetic, is the seemingly uphill flowing rivers. The water wouldn’t be affected by a magnet, so we’d have to rule out that theory.
In 2010, a Japanese scientist, Kokichi Sugihara, imitated the magnetic illusion with a model-sized layout of slopes and wooden balls. From one angle, the slopes appear to be going upwards, however, upon rotation, you can see that their true slope is going down. The findings won Sugihara the Best Illusion of the Year award. You can view the video of the magnetic slopes here.
Despite the debunking of these natural conundrums, visitors still frequent these spots to experience the illusion firsthand. There are several of these magnetic or gravity hills around the world. Other similar tourist attractions can be found in: Australia, Italy, the United States and various countries. If you know of any other magnetic attractions or tourist spots, feel free to share them with us in the comments or on our Facebook page!