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Old Sep 10, 2007, 1:00 AM   #1
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This is 'Electric Brae', on the SW Scottish coast south of Ayr.

The vehicles in front have drawn to a halt, then taken the brakes off, apparently to roll uphill. They are about to be overtaken, dangerously, by an understandably impatient local driver. There are signs by the road as you approach to warn you of stationary & slow-moving vehiclesahead.

I first read of this about 45 years ago in the 'Automobile Association Road Book of Scotland', and at last visited the spot last month. It's marked onmost road maps.

I didn't try it myself, as it's a busy road. I just watched the fun from a parking place. I couldn't see what all the fuss was about when standing there, or when driving in my campervan (quite high off the road, with a good view). However, when I got home & showed the family, the illusion does seem to be present in several ofmy photographs. The second shot shows the explanation.
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Old Sep 10, 2007, 1:03 AM   #2
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...'interpretive sign' in the layby from which I took the first shot...
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Old Sep 10, 2007, 3:03 AM   #3
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Alan,

Most interesting. We had a similar area on the Big Island of Hawaii.

On Hawaii's Big Island some thirty years ago there was an area within the dormant volcanic flows that exhibited this same phenomenon. My wife and I went there, stopped ourcar on the asphalt road, undid the hand-brakes,and to our amazement watched as the car appeared to climb uphill on the asphalt road.

We thentried this a few times also going in the opposite direction. Fortunately there was no traffic as we experimented.

As a final test we parked the car on the side, then took an empty aluminium soda can placed it on the roadand watched spellbound as the can started rolling up hill. Obviously the phenom was not "magnetic".

The optical illusion was incredibly persuasive.

Recent lava flows have since destroyed this section of the road.

Aloha and thanks for sharing your photos.
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Old Sep 10, 2007, 5:47 PM   #4
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Optical illusions can really mess with our minds. I have seen places in Yellowstone Park and other spots in the Rocky Mountains where a river flows alongside the road and the water appears to be flowing uphill. At least that's my observation. What is really happening is that the road in that spot is sloping down more than the stream making the stream appear to be moving up. It's the same idea as shown in these photos.

More interest trivia from our expert, AlanT. Good work!

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