Off the Beaten Path. The Secret of Mount Aragats.


Natural anomaly, miracle or interference of extraterrestrial civilizations? Scientists are struggling to solve the secret of the mountain road. This part of the route is on the way to Aragats, where the 7th century fortress Amberd is located.

The Mystery Hill

There are legends about this mountain route. The water here flows not from top to bottom, but from bottom to top. Cars without drivers roll up the mountain.  Some places the cars even pick up speed. Although these phenomena defy physics, they do happen on the roads to Mount Aragats. Mount Aragats is one of the numerous locations that such phenomena take place scattered across the world, where bewildering “mystery spots,” “gravity hills,” “magnetic hills,” “mystery hills,” whatever the terms used, where magnetic or supernatural forces are believed to be at work.  

Anomalous zones still remain an unsolved mystery for scientists. It is said that this phenomenon is due to either a completely or mostly obstructed horizon. Without a horizon, it becomes difficult to judge the slope of a surface. Objects one would normally assume to be more or less perpendicular to the ground (such as trees) may actually be leaning, offsetting the visual reference. The opposite phenomenon—an uphill road that appears flat—is known in bicycle racing as a “false flat.”  This phenomenon also happens relating to water, in that the optical illusion of water flowing uphill is created.

"The embankment is sloped in a way that gives you the effect that you are going uphill," materials physicist Brock Weiss from Pennsylvania State University told Discoveries and Breakthroughs in Science, in 2006. "You are, indeed, going downhill, even though your brain gives you the impression that you're going uphill."

​​Mount Aragats​
Mount Aragats is an isolated four-peaked volcanic mountain in Armenia. The lava flows from the volcano are constrained in age between middle Pleistocene and 3,000 BCE. Its northern summit, at 4,090m (13,420 ft) above sea level, is the highest point of the lesser Caucases and Armenia. It is also one of the highest points in the Armenian highlands. The name Aragatz originates from the words Ara and gah, which translates to "Ara's throne." Ara refers to the legendary hero Ara the Beautiful. The early medieval historian, Movses Khorenatsi, claims that the mountain is named after Aramaneak, the son of Hayk, the legendary father of the Armenian people. Aramaneak called his possessions "the foot of Aragats."

​Why You Should Visit Mount Aragats? 

Whatever the science behind the phenomenon may be, it’s worth driving to Mount Aragats, and experiencing this phenomenon for yourself. Before you get to the peak of Mount Aragats, be sure to stop by Lake Kari, located in the slopes of Mount Aragats.  According to Wikipedia, Lake Kari is formed mostly by ice and snow.  It is located 3,190m above sea level and has a perimeter of 1,150 m. There, you can find refuge from the cold under a tent, and warm your body and soul with the traditional Armenian winter soup, Khash with the culturally accepted pairing of Vodka.  Bon apetit!

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