Published September 1, 2003 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Antigravity Hills are Visual Illusions


Antigravity hills, also known as spook hills or magnetic hills, are natural places where cars put into neutral are seen to move uphill on a slightly sloping road, apparently defying the law of gravity. We show that these effects, popularly attributed to gravitational anomalies, are in fact visual illusions. We re-created all the known types of antigravity spots in our laboratory using tabletop models; the number of visible stretches of road, their slant, and the height of the visible horizon were systematically varied in four experiments. We conclude that antigravity-hill effects follow from a misperception of the eye level relative to gravity, caused by the presence of either contextual inclines or a false horizon line.


2003_Bressan Garlaschelli Barracano_Antigravity hills.pdf

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