5 Places On Earth Where Gravity Doesn't Seem To Exist

4. Magnetic Hill (Ladakh, India)

water bottle gravity
By Luhar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Magnetic Hill isn't an album by French electronic artist Jean-Michel Jarre, but a mountain pass in Kashmir's Ladakh where gravity is said to behave backwards. Motorists who cut their car's engine on any part of the 30km highway stretch will find themselves saving a load of petrol, as their vehicle spookily begins to roll uphill - potentially reaching a cruising speed of up to 20km/h.

Some say a supernaturally strong magnetic force surrounding the road is at work, which makes sense since cars are made of metal. Even aircraft have been known to avoid the zone, lest their equipment succumb to scrambling.

Locals have a more mystical explanation: the Magnetic Hill used to be the the road to Heaven, with those deserving pulled towards Paradise by spiritual powers.

What both these theories have in common is that they're absolute hokum, designed to entice disbelieving tourists. The actual explanation is that a curved or obscured horizon creates an optical illusion, making a downhill slope appear to head uphill.

Or, yeh, magnets. Why not?

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Editorial Team
Editorial Team

Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know). He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.