Want to see water flow uphill, balls roll up a ramp, or watch a swing sway in perpetual motion? Well come on down to Mystery Hill in Blowing Rock, NC. It claims to be the only site in NC, and one of a handful in the entire USA, that sits atop a bona fide “natural gravitational anomaly.”
Discovered in the 1920s in the Historic Hudson Apple Orchards the only known gravitational anomaly in the state has been amazing visitors from around the world since it was opened to the public in 1948. On a fun and educational guided tour, your family will learn the history of the discovery of this natural wonder and get to try their hand with many demonstrations of how gravity behaves differently in this one section of the historic orchards. Tours start several times an hour and guests get time to explore and experiment on their own after the tour. -- from "About" Mystery Hill
Visitors enter a room that appears to be level, but immediately upon entering, are propelled seemingly “downhill” toward the opposite wall. Balls placed on a track with an apparent 20-30 degree upward grade appear to roll up the track. Water poured into a bucket at the lower base of a pipe running 20-30 degrees below a faucet appears to flow up the pipe and out the faucet above. Children can sit upon a swing and push back only to have it swing forward and stop at a right angle to the ground, before swinging back again with no effort.
Visitors listen in amazement as the tour guide explains that the room they are in sits atop a gravitational vortex – an area of highly dense metal ore buried deep in the heart of the mountain beneath them, which causes gravity to work in contradiction to the laws of nature.
It’s all quite impressive, quite fascinating, mesmerizing, and honestly, utterly disorienting.
But is it real? Well, it’s certainly rooted, in some measure, to a known geological phenomenon of high-density metal ore buried deep beneath the site of the old orchard.
Simply using the level app on your iPhone will reveal that the ascending track on which the balls roled up is actually running a few, subtle degrees below level. In other words, both the track and the pipe were actually slanted just very slightly downhill. Fixtures, furnishing, trims, etc. were all meticulously designed to use optical illusion to disorient and deceive.
Visitors to Mystery Hill are asked to believe a story that contradicts an established law of science. The lesson is that when given a choice between a law of nature and a story that contradicts a law of nature, we should always choose the law of nature.
The theory of evolution presents us with a similar dilemma. As the story goes, for millions of years, early humans have evolved to become an increasingly more advanced species. The problem with this story is that it contradicts an established law of science, namely, the second law of thermodynamics, which tells us that entropy (our current trajectory toward total disorder) will never decrease. Given the choice between a law of nature and a story, which will you choose?
In discussions about the existence of God, I have often raised the question of why eyebrows and fingernails should have a purpose while the person who possesses them does not? Literally, every cell in the human body serves something bigger than itself but the whole man is left only to serve himself.
Unless there is a power higher than man, a Creator who loves us and has a purpose for having brought us into existence, there can be no consistency on this point between the many parts and the whole.
Surely, the vast work of creation suggests a higher purpose for mankind, the pinnacle of it all. Surely, whoever gave each part such a specific role to play has a purpose for the whole. Surely, there is more meaning to our lives than maximizing our pleasure.
But that is all we’re left with should we scrub God from our collective consciousness. To have a purpose beyond ourselves, there must be a God who loves us and created us to love Him in return. Short of this, we end up with a universe full of parts, carefully designed to serve something higher, but the beneficiary of all those parts, man, with no transcendent purpose.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment" (Matthew 22:37-38, ESV).
Years ago, when I lived just outside of NYC, my wife and I received a lot of visitors. One of our favorite things to do was to take our guests into the city to see the sites. Usually, included in this tour was a trip to Chinatown. The food was great and our guests always enjoyed the unique gift shops we found there.
Without a doubt, the most popular gift item was always the ten-dollar Rolex watch. Virtually all of our guests went home with at least one. They looked real, so long as you didn’t look too closely. But you couldn’t rely on one to keep accurate time. Not even close. As far as watches go, they weren’t worth the ten dollars.
These fake Rolexes (Fauxlexes) are big sellers for one reason: somewhere, other than in China Town, there are real Rolexes. If there weren’t real ones somewhere, there wouldn’t be a market for the fake ones. These knockoffs owed their very existence to the public’s desire for the original.
Jesus warned His followers that there would be no shortage of false prophets in the world. So, we shouldn’t be surprised that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing in the Church, and we certainly shouldn’t allow them to cause us to question the truth of the Gospel.
Charlatans exist because the real thing exists. Forgeries are never made of forgeries. They are not the truth, but they are proof of the truth.
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves" (Matthew 7:15).