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

Three Ashcroft RCMP constables receive Award of Valour

Highest award for a B.C. police officer given for heroic actions during 2018 mudslides

Ashcroft council receives winter road maintenance update

Council also votes to enter a float in this year’s Santa Parade

Cache Creek council report

Issues at Cache Creek water treatment plant are a big concern

The Rundown: Clinton News

High speed internet in Clinton hits a roadblock, and more from recent Clinton council meeting

Clinton-area author draws on own experiences for her books

Dorothy Jepp grew up on High Bar First Nation and writes the books she wanted to see as a child

Fashion Fridays: Holiday outfits on a budget

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Smudging in B.C. classroom did not affect Christian family’s faith, says school district lawyer

Lawyers make closing arguments in a Port Alberni case about the Indigenous cultural practice

Canadian Forces member charged with possessing magic mushrooms in Comox

Master Cpl. Joshua Alexander, with the 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, facing two drug related charges

Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages: report

Create an emergency kit, BC Hydro says, and report all outages or downed lines

Study finds microplastics in all remote Arctic beluga whales tested

Lead author Rhiannon Moore says she wasn’t expecting to see so many microplastics so far north

Services needed in B.C. for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease patients: doctor, advocates

More patients are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at an earlier age

65-million-year-old triceratops fossil arrives in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a Triceratops prosus

B.C. widow sues health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Most Read