Science, Technology, and Social Media

Does Water Swirl the Other Way in the Southern Hemisphere?

The idea that water going down a drain or flushed down a toilet swirls in opposite directions in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres has a long history but few have ever done the experiment.

Youtubers Destin from Smarter Every Day and  Veritasium performed identical experiments in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

They found that the direction of water swirl in a toilet, sink, or bathtub is determined by sources of angular momentum unrelated to the earth’s rotation.

However, if the body of water is big enough, e.g. a kiddy pool, and left still for long enough (at least 24 hours), then the Coriolis effect is observable with water swirling counterclockwise in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere.

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Duncan Idaho

Duncan is a science and technology reporter for CDN and serves as the lead geek correspondent. Follow him if you like rockets, mobile tech, video games or ... just about anything nerdy.

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