How to Make a Whirlpool

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Whirlpools are a rapid circular current in a body of water. If you know Greek mythology, you might recognize the monster Charybdis, which was characterized as a deadly whirlpool. While seeing a whirlpool in nature is a rare occurrence, and making a large whirlpool even more difficult, you can make a simple whirlpool at home. Making a whirlpool can be a fun experiment that teaches you about water and currents. All you need are simple materials.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 clear, empty two-liter bottles
  • Water
  • Duct tape
  • Food coloring
  • Fill one empty plastic two-liter bottle with water until it is three-quarters full. Do not completely fill the bottle with water; you need some air to make the whirlpool work.

  • Add a few drops of food coloring to the water. This is not a critical step, but the coloring makes the water in the bottle easier to see when the whirlpool begins.

  • Tip the second, empty plastic two-liter bottle over and place its opening on the opening of the two-liter bottle filled with colored water. Use duct tape to attach the two bottles together. Create a good seal with the duct tape by wrapping the ends of the bottle multiple times so that water does not escape.

  • Tip the bottles over so that the bottle filled with water is on the top. Quickly swirl the bottle in a circular motion to get the water moving in a circle. Watch closely as what looks like a tornado is formed in the water as it swirls downward into the empty bottle. You have essentially created your own whirlpool.

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