“Strange occurrence at Keningau road” explained

Remember that news report in 2006 (2005?) in the Borneo Post about the 150m stretch of road along km 5, Keningau-Kimanis road (km 32, Kimanis-Keningau road) where apparently vehicles can move by themselves as reported in Borneo Post?

A Richard Lee was the first person who experienced this and he claimed that his car moved backwards up a 15 degree slope heading towards the direction of Keningau.

The newpaper further reported that “it is believed (that) a gravity force under the ground is making vehicles move forward / backward at a speed of 40km an hour.” In fact, that’s exactly what’s happening. That stretch of road is known as a magnetic hill / gravity hill, which is a type of optical illusion created by the surrounding landscape, which gives the impression that a slight downward slope is actually an uphill slope. For the illusion to work, the landscape must have a completely / mostly blocked horizon, which will make judging of the slope difficult due to a lack of reference. Trees which we assume to stand at a 90 degree angle to the ground might actually be leaning, hence offsetting the visual reference.

Other names for these kinds of sites include: haunted hill and anti-gravity hill.

There are hundreds of such places around the world, although I am not sure if Sabah has the nation’s first magnetic hill. Anyhow, I think this is a great opportunity to turn the place into a tourist attraction.

5 thoughts on ““Strange occurrence at Keningau road” explained

  1. I went to Keningau via the road middle of last month and it was quite steep most of the way. Some parts have 20% gradient! The Kembara I was traveling in was on 1st gear most of the time. So it’s quite plausible that a car can reach that speed. Btw, I went to Keningau for a different purpose – not specifically to find the spot.

  2. Lots of places like this especially in hilly areas (like the west coast of Sabah). Sometimes not even a hilly area, like the supposedly haunted train crossing somewhere in Texas where some ghost children will push your car across the track… It’s just a slope that’s not very obvious.

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