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"Super-magnet ramp" is world's best visual illusion Answered

The video below was awarded Best Illusion of the Year at this year's Vision Sciences Society meeting.  I originally saw this posted in Nature News:

In a packed concert hall, Kokichi Sugihara wields a pickaxe and mimes a blow to the stage. "I am a miner, and I have a secret," Sugihara says, adjusting his hard hat and headlamp. "I have discovered a new super-magnet."

A screen behind Sugihara begins playing a video. A cardboard structure appears, consisting of four ramps ascending to a raised platform. A hand places a wooden ball at the base of a ramp, and it rolls uphill, before stopping on the 'super-magnetized' platform. As the same trick is repeated for the other three ramps, the crowd lets out an "ooh".

Thanks to Kiteman, here's the author's own Web site: http://home.mims.meiji.ac.jp/~sugihara/hobby/hobbye.html

Image and video from Koichi Sugihara, Meiji University.


Whoa, that is effing trippy.


So cool!! Good post

Best illusion I've seen yet... 

That is cool!!!
There's a place in my country, where you see an up hill road in the mountain and if you just drop a ball it will start rolling up the hill. Like this here it's an illusion because actually it’s a down hill... nature can be an illusionist too :-)

A natural anamorph (that's the word in English for this kind of illusion)?  That sounds really amazing!  Is it located anywhere near where you live?  Do you know of any pictures or videos of it?

I have tried to find pictures for you but as you said only text no photos, even in articles in my language there was no pictures sorry.
That place is far from where I live its about 3 hours drive to go there.
I will do some more search and if I find any photos I will send them to you.

No apologies necessary, thank you so much for searching!  It's a very interesting phenomenon, and realy amusing (to a physicist like me :-), when people assign some mystical significance to it.

There's one in Central Florida called "Spook Hill", not really worth visiting but close enough to the fantastic Bok Tower Gardens to make a diversion only take five minutes, but usually traffic is so bad that if you try to do the illusion, people start blowing their horns and driving around you.

:-)  When I started scanning the various Web pages related to "gravity hills" and "magnetic hills", the pseudoscientific mystically crap sounded a lot like Santa Cruz's "famous" Mystery Spot.

I found the reference to Kathikas in Wikipedia (thank you, Google!), but I'm not finding pictures, just a lot of people who've copied the identical paragraph of text over and over :-/

plz make a ible on how to make it

You really don't know how to read postings, do you?  Nor, apparently, can you figure out how to read any of the existing comments. 

The second sentence in the posting says, "I originally saw this posted on Nature News." Which part of that sentence makes you think that I created this?

The third sentence, the first one of the quoted block of text, refers to Koichi Sugihara, whom you might be able to guess (if you had read anything) is the creator.

The very last sentence of the topic text provides a link to "the author's own Web site." Did it occur to you to follow that link and find out for yourself whether the author himself had provided any guidance?

I think it took a lot more effort to say all that than to just say, "Please reread the post and look for the link."

This was at least the second post today from the punk.  The first one I did give him a one-liner.  Clearly that's insufficient, so a bit of training seemed in order.

If you can train a dog, you can train a person, n'est-ce pas?  Ignore the bad, and reward the good.

That is very cool - is there a link to a net to make your own?

I'm trying to find out, but Nature News is down at the moment.  As I recall from the article, Dr. Sugihara developed his own software to convert 2D line drawings into 3D renderings, and discovered that the software could resolve so-called "impossible structures".

You may have some luck finding answers for yourself by searching for Dr. Sugihara's Web information: Koukichi Sugihara, Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences, Japan.

I foresee an hour wasted happily...

Wow, that was a short hour!


Thank you, Kiteman!  I've updated the topic.

There's a video that's worth spending an idle quarter hour with.

 I'm watching it right now, it's very interesting....

Kiteman, you are a scholar and a gentleman.

Very nice, oh yes.


A most impressive display of your Scrabble(R) prowess.


8 years ago

I was convinced, until he turned it around. Cool!