Debunked: The Equator Drain Trick (direction of water flow)


Senior Member
On our honeymoon my wife and I went to Kenya "on safari"

this often meant long drives between game reserves

on one such drive we came across a gaggle of Kenyans and Tourists huddling around a painted line in the road

the line signified the Equator - the northern hemisphere on one side the southern on the other

quite awe-inspiring if you accepted it as true

anyway a young enterprising Kenyan was proving it (for a small consideration, business is business after all)

he had a bucket full of water with a hole in the bottom and a matchstick floating on the surface

in essence he showed, as the bucket drained the matchstick rotated (on the surface of the rotating water) one way then the other depending on whether he had walked (10mtrs) either side of the line

the coup de grâce was when he placed the bucket directly over the equator and the matchstick stayed still as the water drained out - no swirl/rotation at all

was this a clever trick?, or would the physics of rotation show up over such small variation in position

I had no reason to suspect a trick at the time and simply took it as face value

but is/was it bunk?



Senior Member.
Something like this?


Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.
Position isn't the deciding factor, though it makes it even more unlikely. Time is. The Coriolis Force only shows up over extended periods of time. Under about three hours it is fairly negligible. The direction of drain vortices is determined by initial rotation instead of Coriolis forces.

It's a good trick, but it's probably sleight of hand, imparting opposite rotations to the water while moving or pouring it.

Ah! Beat to it!


Senior Member
ahah, excellent, thanks everyone

so I have been the victim of "bunk", -- I would recount this story (it was in 1996) to people down the years,

Although I haven't for a few years partly coz I suspected it was a trick - I must have been less sceptical then

but if it allows a enterprising lad to make a few bucks of passing tourists then fair doos

although I would like to think the line in the road was the actual equator and not, well

a line painted in the road!!!!!


Staff member
Unfortunately the line they do these tricks on is old, and not quite on the exact equator:
"The exact equator" is not as easy as that. It's more a matter of definition. GPS receivers give the co-ordinates based on an mathematical model of the Earth, which is only an approximation. And there are several possible "geodetic datums" that you can use, all of which will have the zero-degree line in a slightly different place.

(For the same reason, a GPS receiver placed directly on the Greenwich meridian line in London does not read zero: most GPS receivers use the WGS84 datum, and the WGS84 0º longitude line is about 100 metres from the "official" Greenwich meridian defined by the telescope at the obervatory.)

And then there is the fact that the equator is not fixed. The earth's axis of rotation wobbles slightly, which means that the equator also moves by a few metres over the course of a year. So, it's clear that just moving a metre or two either side of the line would not show an effect, because depending on when you carried out the experiment, the equator might not be on the line any more!

(When I visited Kenya, I was told by those in the know that the effect was created by the person turning in the appropriate direction while holding the basin of water before putting it down, to impart a rotation in the water.)
Last edited:


Senior Member
so is the often repeated tale of water draining from a bathtub in the southern hemisphere, in say in Cape Town, rotating in a the opposite direction bathtub in the UK

Pepijn van Erp

New Member
The last video is extra funny when you realize that he has mixed up the directions in which the water is supposed to swirl due to the Coriolis effect.
Thread starter Related Articles Forum Replies Date
Mick West Debunked: Pentagon has Evidence of "Off-World Vehicles Not Made on this Earth" UFO Videos and Reports from the US Navy 14
derrick06 Debunked: United Nations creates a "NWO" website Conspiracy Theories 2
N Debunked: Google Mail icon shows linkage to Freemasons Conspiracy Theories 4
Mendel Debunked: The WHO did not take the Taiwan CDC seriously Coronavirus COVID-19 0
A Why 9/11 Truthers Are Wrong About The Facts | (Part 1 w/ Mick West) 9/11 1
Mendel Debunked: Radar Waves Affect Clouds General Discussion 0
Pumpernickel Need Debunking: Foucault's Pendulum debunked through Mach's principle (the Earth is a static object in the center of the Universe) Science and Pseudoscience 16
M Ufos arrive to the central zone of Chile. (Debunked). Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 0
Jesse3959 FE Debunked with water tube level - 187 foot building 21.2 miles away below eye level Flat Earth 0
H Debunked: Cadillac Mountain from 220 miles Flat Earth 7
Jesse3959 FE Claim Debunked: JTolan Epic Gravity Experiment - Flat earther disproves Perspective! (or his instruments.) Flat Earth 0
Mick West Debunked: DoD prepares for martial law in CONUS: Conspiracy Theories 0
Oystein Debunked: AE911T: CNBC Anchor Ron Insana claims Building 7 a Controlled Implosion 9/11 13
A Debunked: NASA tampered with the original television audio of the Apollo 11 moon landing Conspiracy Theories 1
Greylandra Debunked: media headline "Judea declares war on Germany" [boycott] Conspiracy Theories 20
Mick West Discovery Channel's "Contact: Declassified Breakthrough" was debunked 2.5 years ago UFOs, Aliens, Monsters, and the Paranormal 8
Joe Hill Debunked: "The North Face of Building 7 Was Pulled Inward" 9/11 66
A Debunked : Fake Set Moon Landing with TV Camera and Stairs Conspiracy Theories 3
Mick West Debunked: Photo with Sun Rays at Odd Angles Flat Earth 0
Staffan Debunked: Wikileaks releases unused footage of moon landing (Capricorn One movie scenes) Conspiracy Theories 2
Mick West Debunked: Neil deGrasse Tyson : "That Stuff is Flat" Flat Earth 10
Mendel Debunked: Air Map of the World 1945 is a flat Earth map Flat Earth 0
Trailblazer Debunked: Trees being cut down "because they block 5G" (tree replacement in Belgium) 5G and Other EMF Health Concerns 44
deirdre Debunked: Exemption from military service doc proves Jews had foreknowledge of WW2 (fake leaflet) General Discussion 0
Trailblazer Debunked: Obama called Michelle "Michael" in a speech. (Referring to Michael Mullen Jr) Quotes Debunked 0
Rory Debunked: 120-mile shot of San Jacinto proves flat earth Flat Earth 39
Rory Debunked: The Lunar Cycle affects birth rates Health and Quackery 26
Rory Debunked: Study shows link between menstrual cycle and the moon Health and Quackery 30
novatron Debunked: California Wildfires Match the Exactly Path of the Proposed Rail System Wildfires 3
Rory Debunked: "You must love yourself before you love another" - fake Buddha quote Quotes Debunked 7
W Debunked: Qanon claims there have been 51k sealed indictments filed this year. Current Events 11
K Debunked: Audio of David Rockefeller "leaked" speech in 1991 [Audio Simulation] General Discussion 2
tadaaa Debunked: Fake photos-Novichok attack Russian 'agents' (side by side gates) General Discussion 34
Mick West Debunked: XYO Device Replacing GPS, Saving $2 Million a Day General Discussion 23
Mick West Debunked: "Tip Top" as a QAnon Clue from Trump [He's said it before] Conspiracy Theories 3
Whitebeard Debunked: Nibiru FOUND? Mysterious gigantic rogue planet spotted lurking outside our solar system Science and Pseudoscience 1
Mick West Debunked: "There Exists a Shadowy Government" — Daniel Inouye Quotes Debunked 0
Mick West Debunked: Delta Lambda Compression General Discussion 16
MisterB Debunked: Isle of Man from Blackpool at water level proves flat earth [refraction] Flat Earth 19
JFDee Debunked: Wernher von Braun confirmed that rockets can't leave earth Conspiracy Theories 23
Mick West Debunked: Missing $21 Trillion / $6.5 Trillion / $2.3 Trillion - Journal Vouchers Conspiracy Theories 33
MikeG Debunked: Obamacare Article 54 (Satire FB Page) General Discussion 2
Mick West Debunked: "Deadly Ultraviolet UV-C and UV-B Penetration to Earth’s Surface:" [Stray Light] Contrails and Chemtrails 30
Astro Debunked: Apollo Lunar Module Hatch Too Small for Spacesuit Science and Pseudoscience 0
Mick West Debunked: NIST's Lack of Explanation for WTC7 Freefall [They Have One - Column Buckling] 9/11 38
Jedo Debunked: WTC7 was the only building not on the WTC block that had a fire on 9/11 9/11 0
Mick West Debunked: Thermite Slag on WTC beams [Oxy Cutting Slag] 9/11 2
Mick West Debunked: The WTC 9/11 Angle Cut Column. [Not Thermite, Cut Later] 9/11 137
Mick West Debunked: AE911Truth's Analysis of Slag Residue from WTC Debris 9/11 20
Dan Wilson Debunked: Steven Crowder: The AIDS epidemic was a hoax Health and Quackery 9
Related Articles

Related Articles

Latest posts