Kashmir is located in the northernmost region of India and has a rich history. In recent times, though, Kashmir has been attracting attention for a strange phenomenon that is happening in the area of Ladakh. On a small road stretch of road located approximately 19 miles from Leh, there is the magnetic hill of Ladakh.

The strange thing that is mystifying everybody is that when driving on a stretch of road near the area, and stop and even kill the engine, the vehicle begins to move on its own. What is even stranger is that the car runs on its own on an uphill terrain, and can reach speeds of up to 12 miles per hour, on its own!

The magnetic pull of the hill is said to be so strong, that even airplanes flying directly above the hill, have to increase altitude to avoid being pulled down.

Magnetic hill in India: Local myth

As with every strange happening, there is a local version of the story. Here the villagers believe that there was once a passageway to Heaven when people reached this point. The ones who were to proceed to Heaven were pulled from this point on while the undeserving ones could not move beyond this point, no matter how hard they tried. To them, the hill possesses supernatural powers and is viewed with awe.

Various theories have been brought forth concerning the magnetic hill of Ladakh. Some say it is the Earth’s magnetic pull at work, and others say it is supernatural powers while others say that it is a lie and nothing of the sort happens.

Optical illusions

Our eyes and brains can be deceived by what we see and what we perceive to see. This is called optical illusion, where our visual system is characterized by visually perceived images that differ from actual reality.

In the case of the magnetic hill of Ladakh, the marked spot that is alleged to go uphill, is actually going downhill, but due to the way the mountains in the background are arranged, one sees it as an uphill instead of a downhill.

Our eyesight relies a lot on the horizon to determine terrain and landscape, but if the horizon is blocked partially or wholly, our sight cannot tell for sure. A good example is the case of pilots. When flying, they cannot tell whether they are flying upwards, sideways or downwards because they are unable to see the horizon. That is where their electronic instruments and gadgets come in handy, otherwise; they would be lost.

Perception of the brain

Distances and size are often calculated with the brain through shadows. The shadows include the objects dark spots and shades. According to a popular theory the brain translates these shadows as objects and does not see the actual object. This may explain the optical illusion of a mountainous region. The hilly structures may get the shadow and shading of the vicinity twisted making what is an upward climb seem like a downward spiral.

Why it feels like a downward move

The brain is a beautiful thing. The brain controls everything we perceive that includes symmetry. If the brain is deceived, then so will the body. Several experiments have been used to prove that the mind is stronger than the body. For instance several voluntaries felt pain when a scientist hid their hand behind a board. The scientist put a dummy hand next to the real hand and hit the dummy with a hammer. Oddly the patient felt pain as if their hand was actually hit.

Other optical illusions

The world is full of other optical illusion examples where a river seems to be flowing uphill or where the moon seems larger than everything else. The anti-gravity road in Tulsishyam in Gujarat works with the same concept as the magnetic field of Ladkh, Electric Brae in Aryshire Scotland is another example and Gansu in China.