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The Pull of The Land: The Curious Phenomenon of Magnetic Roadways

Whatever the explanation, the phenomenon is not unique to Croy; there are similar places all over the world. One example can be found on the road to Jerusalem near the village of Djabal Moukaber, Israel. And on Mystery Hill, a small area between Boone and Blowing Rocks, North Carolina, a river reportedly flows north and apple trees grow into the prevailing winds, seemingly in complete defiance of the laws of nature.

The Pull of the Land: The Curious Phenomenon of Magnetic Roadways

By Mr Ghaz, May 9, 2010

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The Pull of the Land: The Curious Phenomenon of Magnetic Roadways

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Motorists driving along Croy Brae in Strathclyde, Scotland, sooner or later usually slow down-or stop completely-in utter confusion. For Croy Brae is one of the most disorienting places on earth.

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Approaching the brae (“hill”) from the north is an uncanny experience. The road appears to slope downward, and drivers assume that the slope will accelerate the vehicle. Yet if they slow down, they are likely to grind to a complete halt. Despite every appearance to the contrary, the road runs uphill, not downhill. Unable to believe what has happened, many motorists stop-only to find that their cars begin to slide backward, a “uphill.”

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Travelers who are approaching from the south experience a similar topsy-turvy sensation. Thinking they are heading uphill they accelerate-only to discover that they are speeding along faster than they had intended. The road actually goes down.

Powerful Force

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No one has yet been able to come up with a totally satisfactory explanation of what causes these strange effects at Croy Brae. It was once believed that magnetic forces induced by surrounding iron-rich rocks exerted such a strong attraction that they could actually pull automobiles uphill.

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This explanation is now generally dismissed, but another theory suggests that the sensations are due to an optical illusion caused by one of two factors: local variations in the earth’s magnetic field-to which our sense of balance may somehow be connected-may, alter our perceptions; or the unusual topography of the land.

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Whatever the explanation, the phenomenon is not unique to Croy; there are similar places all over the world. One example can be found on the road to Jerusalem near the village of Djabal Moukaber, Israel. And on Mystery Hill, a small area between Boone and Blowing Rocks, North Carolina, a river reportedly flows north and apple trees grow into the prevailing winds, seemingly in complete defiance of the laws of nature.

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In a letter to a magazine, a British visitor to Canada described how an uncle had taken him to “a rather unusual but fascinating places” near Vancouver. “He parked his huge station wagon on a bumpy road with a steep gradient, and then took the key out of the ignition and released the handbrake. There were eight of us in the car but, to my astonishment, it nevertheless began to move-uphill. My uncle then poured some water from a nearby stream onto the surface of the road, and this too began to flow uphill.”

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The best-known example in North America is Magnetic Hill at Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. According to local legend, its mysterious properties were first noticed in the 1930’s when a milkman stopped his horse and cart at the bottom to make a delivery. When he returned, to his astonishment he found that both horse and cart had drifted halfway “up” the hill.

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No description can possibly convey the experience on these roads. They have to be driven to be believed. Whether or not the truth about them

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  1. Marie Antoinette

    On May 10, 2010 at 7:29 pm


    How interesting. I enjoyed this article a lot.

  2. Judy Sheldon

    On May 10, 2010 at 9:03 pm


    How interesting, this would be a strange experience.

  3. Uma Shankari

    On May 10, 2010 at 10:54 pm


    Very educative. You widen our minds with your well-researched articles.

  4. Phill Senters

    On May 10, 2010 at 10:55 pm


    Very interesting Mr G. We have one in Lake Wales Florida named Spook Hill.

  5. Citra Florenca

    On May 11, 2010 at 12:16 am


    LOL, I can’t believe there is a true place like this in the world. Amazing!

  6. Susan

    On May 11, 2010 at 12:42 am


    I’ve been to Mystery Hill in North Carolina. Very unsettling experience. It’s difficult to walk or stand in these places.

  7. revivor

    On May 15, 2010 at 3:50 am


    there are some spooky roads in the UK and on another subject – the Bermuda Triangle??

  8. brian

    On January 18, 2011 at 4:30 am


    There is a road in northern Panama that will accelerate your vehicle from a complete stop. It is well-known to people in the area. A relative drove me there, waited for traffic to pass, put his vehicle in neutral and we immediately started to accelerate backwards and uphill from a complete stop. It is very cool to experience.

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