I ntroduction to M ysterious P laces

S trange F orces at W ork

T he world is a mysterious place, and certain spots on our planet are certainly more mysterious than others. At a few locations around the globe, for example, gravity seems to have gone crazy. At locales called “gravity hills,” drivers can put their car into neutral at the base of an incline, and then their vehicle seems to magically roll up the slope. While gravity hills may appear to defy the laws of physics, they are likely an optical illusion of the landscape—objects only appear to be going uphill. But the scientific explanation doesn’t sway believers in the supernatural, who attribute the forces at gravity hills to otherworldly spirits. Legends hold that cars in these mystery zones go uphill in neutral because they are moved by the force of ghosts. The typical story is that long ago a school bus broke down on the site.The children got out of the bus to push it up the hill, but it rolled backward and crushed them to death. Their ghosts are now reliving the moment for eternity—pushing cars up the hill. There are mystery spots dotting the globe, such as The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, CA. In this circular area in the redwood forest, billiard balls travel up slopes, water pours up to the sky, chairs appear to rest on walls, compasses act strangely, and people seem to be able to stand at impossible angles. One creative explanation is that a UFO buried deep in the ground has been causing the inexplicable occurrences. But there are a couple of more likely reasons, such as geo- physical anomalies—natural forces, such as magnetism or gravity, that are unusually strong in a particular spot. Or again, may be simply an optical illusion. Although these gravity zones are certainly intriguing, other places may hold even greater secrets and pose bigger questions.Take the pyramids of Egypt. How were they erected thou-

freaky phenomena


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