We’ve long toyed with the idea of mind-blowing illusions in illustrations and images, but have you ever encountered a real-life optical illusion? Well, if not, today is the day!
Is this optical illusion magnetic hill in Ladakh real?
In northern India there are strange hills that have always fascinated those who live nearby and those who visit the area. These hills are not far from the small town of Leh, about 30 kilometers away.
There is a signboard on the Srinagar-Leh highway that reads: “The phenomenon that defies gravity. Park your vehicle in the painted box on the road and experience the wonder!”
Surprisingly, even though the road seems to be going uphill, if you stop your vehicle and turn off the engine, it will start moving on its own, heading towards the hills at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour!
Why is it an optical illusion?
Some skeptics who doubt the magnetic nature of the hills claim that it is simply a trick of the eye. Although the path appears to be going up, it is actually going downhill. This visual trick occurs because the mountains around the road block the view of the horizon in the area. When the horizon is hidden, it is difficult to judge whether the ground is rising or falling because there is no flat surface in sight to compare with.
To investigate the idea that it could be an optical illusion, a team of students from the Rajasthan Institute of Engineering and Technology brought in a magnetometer to measure the strength of the magnetic field in the ground.
The readings they obtained ranged between 25 and 60 microtesla. The researchers argued that this level of magnetism is not powerful enough to attract or pull anything, especially a car.
What do the locals believe?
An even stranger theory involves a local myth. According to this story, these hills were once a road that guided people directly to heaven. Those who were virtuous and deserving were drawn to the hills, while those deemed unworthy were not. Apparently, the hills still possess their mystical and divine power.
Although this theory is quite intriguing, very few people actually accept it. These hills have been a topic of conversation for a long time due to their supposed magnetic properties.
They are so famous that even airplane pilots avoid flying directly over the area and, if necessary, raise the plane’s altitude to avoid magnetic disturbances. Regardless of which theory you subscribe to, these picturesque hills are worth a visit!
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