A Japanese scientist has won an award for an experiment that duplicates the optical illusion that attracts thousands of tourists to Moncton's famed Magnetic Hill.

Kokichi Sugihara of the Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences won the international competition for Best Visual Illusion of 2010 with his "Impossible Motion: Magnetic Like Slopes" exhibit which showed objects appearing to roll uphill, as if pulled by a magnet.

But when his display rotates, the slope's true angles are revealed, showing it to be an illusion.

It is similar to the illusion at Magnetic Hill that has drawn visitors to Moncton since the 1930s.

There, drivers put their vehicle in neutral and are seemingly pulled back up the hill.

It is an optical illusion also known as a "gravity hill" – where a slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope.

Despite the Hill's secret being out of the bag, visitors to Magnetic Hill said they were still pleased with the experience.

"It is a very good optical illusion," one woman told CTV Atlantic.

With a report from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis