Here’s A New Optical Illusion For You! This Magnetic Hill In Ladakh Has Confused People For Decades

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Here's A New Optical Illusion For You! This Magnetic Hill In Ladakh Has Confused People For Decades

We have long played with the idea of mind-bending illusions in illustrations and images, but have you ever encountered a real-life optical illusion? Well, if not, then today is the day!

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Is This Optical Illusion Magnetic Hill In Ladakh Real?

In northern India, there are strange hills that have always fascinated people who live nearby and those visiting the area. These hills are not far from the small town of Leh, about 30 kilometres away.

There’s a sign on the Srinagar-Leh highway that says, “The phenomenon that defies gravity. Park your vehicle in the box marked with paint on the road and experience the wonder!”

Optical Illusion In Magnetic Hill LadakhWikimedia Commons

Surprisingly, even though it looks like the road is going uphill, if you stop your vehicle and turn off the engine, it will start moving on its own, going towards the hills at a speed of 20 kilometres per hour!

Why Is It An Optical Illusion?

Some sceptics who doubt the magnetic nature of the hills claim it’s merely a trick of the eyes. Even though the road seems to be sloping upward, it’s actually going downhill. This visual trick happens because the mountains around the highway block the view of the horizon in the area. When the horizon is hidden, it becomes difficult to judge whether the ground is rising or falling because there’s no flat surface in sight for comparison.

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In order to investigate the idea that it might be an optical illusion, a team of students from the Rajasthan Institute of Engineering and Technology brought along a magnetometer to measure the strength of the magnetic field in the ground.

The readings they obtained ranged from 25 to 60 microtesla. The researchers argued that this level of magnetism isn’t powerful enough to attract or pull anything, especially not a car.

What Do The Locals Believe?

Optical Illusion In Magnetic Hill LadakhWikimedia Commons

An even stranger theory involves a local myth. According to this tale, these hills were once a road that guided people directly to heaven. Those who were virtuous and deserving were drawn towards the hills, while those deemed unworthy were not. Allegedly, the hills still possess their mystical, divine power.

Although this theory is quite intriguing, very few individuals actually buy into it. These hills have been a topic of conversation due to their alleged magnetic properties for a long time.

They are so famous that even airplane pilots steer clear of flying directly over the area, and if they must, they raise the plane’s altitude to avoid any magnetic disturbances. Regardless of which theory you subscribe to, these picturesque hills are certainly worth a visit!

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