How to Make a Whirlpool in a Bottle

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to Make a Whirlpool in a Bottle
Make a whirlpool in a bottle. (Tourbillon d"eau image by lvconcept from

Create a mini whirlpool using two empty soda bottles. When you attach the two bottles together firmly with duct tape, you create a vortex as the water moves in a circular motion and pushes against the sides of the bottle. Make a whirlpool in a bottle using coloured water.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Two 2-liter plastic bottles
  • Water
  • Food colouring
  • Duct tape
  • Small particles of styrofoam or sawdust (optional)

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  1. 1

    Pour water into one of the 2-liter plastic bottles until it is three-quarters full. Add several drops of food colouring to the water to colour the water.

  2. 2

    Place the second bottle on top of the first bottle so the second bottle is upside down. Line up the bottle openings perfectly and tape the two bottles together with duct tape to hold them securely in place.

  3. 3

    Flip the bottles so the bottle with water is on top. Notice that nothing happens automatically to the water when you flip the bottles.

  4. 4

    Move the bottles quickly in a circular fashion to start the water moving. Do not shake the bottles or the whirlpool will not start.

  5. 5

    Set the bottles down once the whirlpool starts and watch as the water swirls down through the connection from the top bottle down to the bottom bottle.

  6. 6

    Flip the bottles over and start the whirlpool again by moving the bottles in a circular fashion another time.

Tips and warnings

  • If you wish to add small particles to the whirlpool, add a spoonful or two of styrofoam or sawdust to the water before you tape the bottles together. The particles will make the force of the whirlpool easier to see.

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