The hill that goes down while going up, the road that goes up while going down

We are on the borders of the Aude and the Hérault, south of Cassagnoles, in Siran.

The amateurs of curiosities and mysteries meet regularly at the place called Lauriole.

Surprising: a road seems to go up while it goes down... or the other way around!

This "descending slope" is indicated by the sign "Curiosity of Lauriole".

A special configuration of the surrounding terrain gives a bad impression of the direction of the slope of the road.

The result is not spectacular, but nevertheless very curious.

You can experience it with a ball, a bottle, or a car in neutral.

In fact, it all comes down to a few decimetres.

This curiosity is the subject of a humorous account in a book entitled "La Côte qui descend" (Patrice Cartier, Éditions Pimientos), which is included in the literary anthology "Nouvelles du Minervois".

Lauriole's curiosity has given rise to many more or less far-fetched theories.

Some have put forward the hypothesis of a fault in the gravitational pull that caused a reversal of direction.

Others suggested the presence of a magnetic field of a very particular type, or a paranormal phenomenon...

The local residents keep seeing tourists passing by, who come to test the descent that goes up and try to solve the mystery...

In reality, it would be a simple optical illusion created by the configuration of the road and the surrounding terrain at that location.

Several teams of geologists came to investigate the field to scientifically explain the phenomenon... in vain!


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