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Crossing the Equator, Coriolis Force Demonstration

Kasese, Western Region, Uganda
8 Kudos
Because we had to drop my daughter at the airport one day, we actually crossed the equator in Uganda three different times. Of course, one of the times we had to get out and take the obligatory photo at the imaginary line. When we stopped, there was an enterprising guy at the roadside pull-off. He had two pans, set up a few yards apart on opposite sides of the equator, and a bottle of water that he used to demonstrate the coriolis force causing the water to swirl in opposite directions on the north and south sides of the equator. This guy was very good and he had his shpiel down pat! He plugged the hole in the bottom of the pan, poured some water in the pan, let the water settle and even put in a sort of divider to dampen any flow from pouring the water in. Then, when he opens the hole in the bottom, the water pours out and starts to swirl, and he tosses in a little leaf so you can see the water swirling. It was really entertaining!

Super-nerds can debate whether the coriolis force is, in fact, strong enough to consistently produce this effect close to the equator. But even if the force is not, it's still a highly debatable topic as to just how the guy pulls it off. And kudos to the guy for being able to be so convincing.
Story Details


Kasese Airport
We were returning from the airport when we stopped at the equator.


Queen Elisabeth Bush Lodge
This was our hotel, just a little ways south of the equator

Points of interest

Kazinga Channel Bridge
The road is pretty rough on the approach to this bridge, just a few miles south of the equator.
Lake George
Lake George is also right on the equator in Uganda
Uganda Equator
This isn't the crossing we were at, but it is another famous equator crossing in Uganda

On The Map

1 Comment

by Zle1016


Coriolis force! I learned something new today :)