Magnetic / Gravity / Mystery Hills (Where Things 'Roll Uphill')

escargot

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View attachment 8462 There's a really good railway "Electric Brae" at Law in South Lanarkshire. The West Coast Main Line diverges at Law Junction with the straight ahead route heading for Motherwell and the line to the right going to Wishaw and Holytown Jn. This photo I took a couple of years ago shows it reasonably well; the Holytown line on the right looks like it is climbing significantly but in fact the gradient on both lines is falling, it's just the main line drops away at a much steeper rate. Off the top of my head I think the fall on the Holytown line is around 1 in 800ish. It's a pretty convincing optical illusion and is even better in real life but sadly only train drivers and railway engineers (like me) riding up the front get to experience it.
Oh my FLIP, why haven't I seen this before? Brilliant!
 

RaM

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I have heard of this but not experienced it for my self, was always under the impression that it was a optical illusion.
 

escargot

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Escet (our own former CERN physicist) was talking about this phenomenon over a curry and beers recently. We had a lot to talk about! but we may have agreed to visit some gravity hot-spots. I'll report back!

It's an illusion though innit. Out on the bikes, I often think we're level or going downhill when Techy says we're actually fighting the gradient*, or vice versa. Maybe some people are worse at judging gradients than others?

*Though he's sometimes convinced we're climbing/descending along a canal path. Canals have to be level or the water would fall out.
 

maximus otter

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I have heard of this but not experienced it for my self, was always under the impression that it was a optical illusion.
It is an optical illusion.

I've been to the Electric Brae and viewed the phenomenon myself. I have several photos of the area, but for some reason, I can't get my Windows 8.1 lappy to open the .jpeg files on the DVD-R.

The illusion is caused by the road dropping off out of sight down a steep slope, with rising hills in the background. This leads the eye to suppose that it's running uphill, whereas the opposite is the case.

maximus otter
 

lee

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Dangerous, for sure. Fun? Yep.

I was with some fiends and other animals in Scotland late last year and we had seen the Electric Brae mentioned in FT so we took a look.

It took 3 goes, but when we started rolling backwards we were really freaked out by it. Bearing in mind the scene: 3 Cars each with 4x 30 somethings in it, all rolling backwards - UPHILL.

Very cool, I recomend it to anyone.

Our best guess was the way the level horizon of the sea works with the surrounding landscape.
I went there to try it years ago and nothing happened. I put my disappointment down to wrong atmospherics on the day.
 

Yithian

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This is so poorly described that I'm not sure what is meant, but is this spot in the Redwoods the same phenomenon?

'Mystery Spot'
Warning: Contains Jonathan King.


From 2:50, but you may as well watch from the start.

More Forteana (The Winchester House) at 8:36
 

escargot

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Today Techy and I visited an ancient cairn called the Bridestones. As we drew near I was forging ahead and at the top of a hill I stopped pedalling and prepared to coast down the dip.

However, instead the bike ground to a halt and I nearly fell off. It felt heavy as lead, as if I was going uphill and not down. I resumed pedalling and all was well.

Baffling.
 

Sharon Hill

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This is so poorly described that I'm not sure what is meant, but is this spot in the Redwoods the same phenomenon?

'Mystery Spot'
Warning: Contains Jonathan King.


From 2:50, but you may as well watch from the start.

More Forteana (The Winchester House) at 8:36
How did this doofus get a show? That's the real mystery.

The "Mystery Spot" is in Santa Cruz. It's a well-established tourist trap. From my SpookyGeology post:

You’ll have to pay to visit most crooked shack “mystery spots”. A famous one is in Santa Cruz, California. The tour guides say the “gravity house” is the product of a circular anomaly about 150 feet (46m) in diameter where gravity misbehaves. Here is a ridiculous attempt at an explanation from their website:

Some speculate that cones of metal were secretly brought here and buried in our earth as guidance systems for their spacecraft. Some think that it is in fact the spacecraft itself buried deep within the ground. Other theories include carbon dioxide permeating from the earth, a hole in the ozone layer, a magma vortex, the highest dielectric biocosmic radiation known anywhere in the world, and radiesthesia. Whatever the cause is, it remains a mystery.
The Mystery Spot (Santa Cruz)
*SPOILERS* No, it's no mystery. That's a whole lotta bullshit in one paragraph.
The Santa Cruz Mystery Spot was listed as a California Historical Landmark (#1055) on August 22, 2014. It was not listed because of its natural wonder, though. It was notable as the first (1941) and most significant “tilt-box” or “gravity house” roadside attraction in California. It was certainly not the last. These types of tourist spots became popular in the mid-twentieth century.

Originally, tilt-houses were the product of the Great Depression era, when people needed cheap entertainment. Local tales notwithstanding, they have little to do with any physical anomaly. They are cleverly engineered structures designed to distort the architecture – where normal visual references are hidden, and distorted objects are added to enhance the effect. People stand at weird angles and experience a sensory illusion that can induce vertigo, nausea, or it may be entirely enjoyable and fun. Visitors are primed to be astounded and confused but discouraged from lingering too long in the structure to do any measurements. The exaggerated story of a physical anomaly that “baffles” scientists add to the atmosphere. The illusion effect is so powerful that people buy a nonsensical incorrect explanation.

So, nothing strange here except this TV host.
 

hunck

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How did this doofus get a show? That's the real mystery.

The "Mystery Spot" is in Santa Cruz. It's a well-established tourist trap. From my SpookyGeology post:

You’ll have to pay to visit most crooked shack “mystery spots”. A famous one is in Santa Cruz, California. The tour guides say the “gravity house” is the product of a circular anomaly about 150 feet (46m) in diameter where gravity misbehaves. Here is a ridiculous attempt at an explanation from their website:


*SPOILERS* No, it's no mystery. That's a whole lotta bullshit in one paragraph.
The Santa Cruz Mystery Spot was listed as a California Historical Landmark (#1055) on August 22, 2014. It was not listed because of its natural wonder, though. It was notable as the first (1941) and most significant “tilt-box” or “gravity house” roadside attraction in California. It was certainly not the last. These types of tourist spots became popular in the mid-twentieth century.

Originally, tilt-houses were the product of the Great Depression era, when people needed cheap entertainment. Local tales notwithstanding, they have little to do with any physical anomaly. They are cleverly engineered structures designed to distort the architecture – where normal visual references are hidden, and distorted objects are added to enhance the effect. People stand at weird angles and experience a sensory illusion that can induce vertigo, nausea, or it may be entirely enjoyable and fun. Visitors are primed to be astounded and confused but discouraged from lingering too long in the structure to do any measurements. The exaggerated story of a physical anomaly that “baffles” scientists add to the atmosphere. The illusion effect is so powerful that people buy a nonsensical incorrect explanation.

So, nothing strange here except this TV host.
Spoilsport - I was banking on it being down to secretly buried cones of metal left by a spacecraft.
 

Yithian

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As promised, here are some photos from my and my wife's visit to the Mystery Spot in 2013. As an added bonus there are a handful of pictures from Santa Cruz boardwalk which was a filming location for The Lost Boys.

View attachment 28804
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That's quite a bonus--I love the Lost Boys.

And no Jonathan King in any of your shots, either!
 
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