Equatorial Memorial
September 8, 2007 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Equatorial Memorial: Is there anywhere along the equator a display, or set of fountains straddling the equator itself that show the clockwise vs. counterclockwise draining effect in the southern vs. northern hemispheres? If not, would it work to have two fountains showing this? How far apart would they need to be?
posted by BrodieShadeTree to Science & Nature (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This doesn't happen. Search for "hemisphere drain" and read any of the thousands of webpages out there explaining this. Here's one
posted by 0xFCAF at 7:54 PM on September 8, 2007

There is no such effect. Or rather, it's not strong enough to be an important influence on the direction of rotation.

You can make your tub / sink drain in the "incorrect" direction simply by giving it a stir in that direction as you start letting the water out.
posted by CKmtl at 7:58 PM on September 8, 2007

It's a myth. And even if it weren't, surely the effect would become more pronounced as you traveled away from the equator, rather than suddenly "snapping over" as you crossed the line.
posted by ottereroticist at 7:58 PM on September 8, 2007

Best answer: The answer to your first question is Yes.

The answer to the question you didnt ask is: Yeah, its a scam.
posted by vacapinta at 8:00 PM on September 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It does in fact happen, just not on such a small scale apparently. So, I suppose then they would have to be LARGE fountains.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 8:01 PM on September 8, 2007

Those don't look like fountains to me.
posted by 0xFCAF at 8:03 PM on September 8, 2007

In the September 2007 issue of "Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel", there is an article called "Destination Unknown" about a trip to Ecuador. The travelers visited a museum on the equator called "Museo de Sitio Inti-naƱ" where they describe how a guide demonstrates the Coriolis effect in a sink from north, south and on the equator, with the water draining counter-clockwise, clockwise & straight down respectively.
I personally agree the whole idea is a myth though.
posted by dreaming in stereo at 1:49 AM on September 9, 2007

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