The hills cover an area of about one square kilometre, and is perhaps the only place in the whole world where a car that is switched off can roll uphill unaided. The tarmacked road that leads to this strange spot passes through Mutituni and Kirutini.
The strange happening was first detected by a white settler who had parked his vehicle with its gears left on free mode as he ambled downstream to fetch water for the vehicle’s engine. Upon his return, he was dumbfounded to find that the car had moved about fifty metres up the hill. What struck the man was how the vehicle moved up the steep road instead of downwards, in line with inventor Isaac Newton’s law of gravity.
For locals, however, the phenomenon has an explanation in the form of a legend.
The old name of the place, Kwaume, provides a clue. The legend has it that two men used to live here; one was called Kyalo and the other, Mwilu. They shared a wife. Their homes were separated by a stream that snaked down the hill. The beautiful woman used to rest by the stream from where she would decide in whose home she would spend the night. She would alternate between the two men. When they died, she was taken in by one of her kinsmen.
The graves of the two men are still there, marked. The legend has it that it is the two men in their immortal state who continue to fight over the woman, resulting in the pulling force towards the graves.
Numerous experiments have been done and they prove that if you park your car on the road and switched off the engine, it will move uphill for up to a kilometre. This has been tested over and over, with the same result. Experiments carried out using water produce the same results. Water flows up the hill, instead of downhill.
Few places in Kenya own such stranger-than-fiction stories that defy science. Outsiders may reject them out of hand but locals hold them with firm conviction.