Vernon Morning Star reporter Roger Knox visits the iconic Vernon oddity magnetic hill. (Parker Crook - Morning Star)

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

You’re on a rural Vernon road in the BX. Your vehicle is pointing north, appearing to be on a downhill portion of the road. You stop your vehicle at a certain point on the road. You put the car, pointing downhill, in neutral.

Physics suggests you should then roll downhill, no?

No.

You will be pulled uphill. For a fair distance. Reaching speeds of 20 kilometres/hour.

Welcome to Vernon’s Magnetic Hill.

Found on Dixon Dam Road, the anomaly has been a hit with locals for decades.

“One of the first things I did when I got my driver’s licence was trying Magnetic Hill,” said Roger Knox, reporter with The Morning Star, 55. “Over the years, I’ve taken friends from out of town to it, showed them how it works, and watched their amazement-like reactions. I’ve taken my son there and some of his friends.

“I’ve often thought of starting a Magnetic Hill tour side business.”

READ MORE: Trail to go through Magnetic Hill area

A 2016 post on waymarking.com confirmed Vernon’s Magnetic Hill works.

“We had just arrived on Dixon Dam Road contemplating the complexities of this gravity hill. We exited the car when along came a red pickup truck and he stopped and put his truck into neutral and started coasting up/down the hill. He then turned around a little down the road and returned again doing the same thing.

“When he reached us, with a big grin he said, ‘Hey guys, it works.’ He has lived in the area for quite a while and always heard about this gravity hill and thought he would try it out. Inspired we gave it a try, and though slow we did coast along the road.”

According to Wikipedia and Youtube, there are three such magnetic or gravity hills in B.C.: Vernon’s Magnetic Hill, one in Abbotsford at McKee Road just before Ledgeview Golf Course, and one in Maple Ridge at 100th Avenue and 256th Street, right beside an old elementary school.

Wikipedia lists nine other such hills across Canada.

A gravity or magnetic hill is a place where a slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope due to the layout of the surrounding land, creating the optical illusion that water flows uphill or a car left out of gear will roll uphill, among others.

Business Insider championed the optical illusion in a 2016 report on magnetic or gravity hills.

“All of these sites have one thing in common (other than their apparent disregard for gravity): the horizon is either curved or obstructed from view. This is key,” said the report. “Horizons provide us with a very useful reference point when we’re trying to judge the slope of a surface. A study published in Psychological Science in 2003 found that false horizon lines can be deceiving to observers perceiving landscapes.

“Without a true horizon in sight, objects such as trees and walls — which your eyes use as visual clues to determine perpendicularilty — can play tricks on you. If these objects are leaning slightly, they might make you think you’re looking at a downward slope, when in actuality you may simply be looking at a flat (or even uphill!) surface.

“As a result, anything you rest upon the surface — whether it’s a rubber ball, a stream of water, or a 4,000-pound car — will appear to fight the flow of gravity and travel uphill. And while the thought of ghosts or supernatural forces carrying these objects is tempting, the most likely explanation is that your eyes are just playing tricks on you.”

READ MORE: Shatzko leads RDNO voting

In the end, it looks like Sir Isaac Newton had it right all along.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Come run for Terry this Sunday

Terry Fox Run in Invermere raises funds for cancer research

Council rejects water bottling plant in current spot

Cites possibility to having facility built at another location in the village

Climate change website launched by Selkirk College and Columbia Basin Trust

The site features climate information for communities in the Columbia Basin and boundary region

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Winnipeg student, killed in bus crash, remembered as passionate, kind

University of Victoria student Emma Machado, 18, was killed in the bus crash near Bamfield on Friday

Most Read