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Postcard of Magnetic Hill, New Brunswick
Magnetic Hill is a wild and wacky place that appears to defy gravity. For years now, people have been entertained by driving their car to the bottom of the hill, putting the car in neutral and watching as their car rolls backwards, with them in it, UP the hill! In the 1800s, farmers were puzzled when it seemed that their horses had to strain to pull wagons that were seemingly going downhill; then on the way home, the wagons seemed to get tangled up with the horses' feet while going uphill. How was any of this possible? People thought perhaps there was a powerful magnet buried at the top of the hill which pulled objects to it. Actually, it's a common illusion where the level horizon is hidden in some way. Trees, walls and things that normally act as a visual clue may be leaning slightly. We expect such things to be straight and so we are fooled. An optical illusion makes a downhill appear to be an uphill. But seeing is believing, so even when you know the cause, you still can't help but think that when you're rolling uphill, you're actually rolling downhill. Freaky!
Fanathorne, Lionel and Patricia. The World's Most Mysterious Places. Toronto: Hounslow Press, 1999.
International Directory of Magnetic Hills, Gravity Hills, Mystery Hills and Magnetic Mountains. Magnetic Hill International.
(accessed February 23, 2005).