The mysterious spot in southwestern Wisconsin where your vehicle defies gravity – and no one is quite sure why
When your car is free to roam, it should drift in the direction of where gravity takes it, right? That’s basic physics. Heck, according to Newton, it’s the LAW. Right?
Well, not always.
Wisconsin, a state with as many unusual quirks as many, has a lot of mysteries along its roads as you explore and tour America’s Dairyland. Many of these mysteries are legends that eventually get debunked or have explanations. But why gravity doesn’t seem to work in this one spot in southwestern Wisconsin remains a bit of a head-scratcher.
Known as “Gravity Hill,” this location along County Highway U just south of Shullsburg in Lafayette County has a spot where you can stop in the middle of the road, put your car in neutral, and you’ll start drifting backwards, seemingly up a hill.
Now, this isn’t exactly a big hill you go backwards onto, but it’s still an incline – so it wouldn’t make sense for your car to go up and incline in neutral, right?
Well, we tried it, filmed it, and here’s what happened:
Many theories exist as to WHY this happens. Some say the “hill” you roll upwards on isn’t actually an incline; it’s just an optical illusion. If it is, it’s one heck of a good one! Gravity Hill itself isn’t a big hill. but the rate of speed you go from a full stop while in neutral definitely makes it seem like there’s something more there. Others say there’s probably a large deposit of iron or other magnetized rock underneath that hill, and it draws your car back – truly like a magnet. Makes some sense – this IS mining country, after all. Meanwhile, some say it’s just mysterious spirits.
Try it for yourself and see what you think! You’ll find Gravity Hill along County Highway U just south of Shullsburg, a lovely village with a great downtown along Highway 11 in Lafayette County. You’re only about a mile and change north of Illinois at this point, too… maybe the gravity is designed to keep you in Wisconsin!
Here’s where you can find Gravity Hill: