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Does this Northern Kentucky hill really defy gravity? We put it to the test

Posted at 5:38 PM, Nov 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-30 17:38:26-05

COVINGTON, Ky. -- If you’ve taken a drive through Devou Park in northern Kentucky, you might have experienced Gravity Hill, and you’re not alone.

People from around the country have come to the park to experience what some believe is “anti-gravity” in the area.

Though she lives near Gravity Hill, Mary Devitt says she’s never actually experienced the phenomenon.

"When we first moved here I thought it was very strange that cars kept coasting past the house,” Devitt said.

Here’s how it works: A driver puts their car in neutral, and the car rolls up the hill, defying gravity.

But does it really?

Dr. Eli White, experimental psychologist at Northern Kentucky University, specializes in sensation and perception.

White says Gravity Hills doesn’t defy gravity at all -- it’s actually an optical illusion.

"Our perceptual system is very good, but for certain instances like this when you have a false horizon and information over here that is influencing the grade of this hill,” White said.

Dr. Scott Nutter, an NKU physics professor, further debunked the myth.

"Your mind is easy fooled by the data that comes in from our senses. This is the exact reason scientists use measuring tools,” Nutter said.

So, although it appears as if you’re rolling uphill, Gravity Hill does not defy physics. Illusion Hill might be a better name.