The Truth About Toilets

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Ever wondered about that implausible-sounding Coriolis Effect business? Well, I have. And thanks to the magic of Adium and Brian Beutler’s trip to Argentina we were able to conduct a little experiment:

So, having been disabused of the Coriolis disinformation for a few years now, Matt and I conducted a (wasteful) experiment. It turns out that when you fill up and drain my kitchen sink here in Buenos Aires it drains clockwise. AND, perhaps evidince of swirl-rumor confirmation, Matt’s toilet flushes counter clockwise. But nothing’s ever that simple. Because my toilet down here flushes counter clockwise as well.

I have no idea how regular hemisphere-wide toilet-flush trends are, and if there is a physical explanation, I have no idea what it is. My guess would be that swirl direction is purely a function of how the relevant pipes are structured. But I’ll leave that to the blogosphere (which I know to be a trustworthy and mature resource) to decide.

Take that, science!