Cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons are all the same type of weather
feature; we just use different names for them depending on where they
occur on the globe.
They all have similar features such as:
– a circular movement of air that moves in the same direction as the Earth
– inward spiraling winds

Cyclones use differences in air pressure to create their ‘vortex’ of air movement.
We will be using the spinning effect of water to create ours!



1. Water can be a slip hazard. Ensure any water spilt on the floor is cleaned immediately.

  • cyclone-in-a-bottle-experiment-step-1Pour your coloured water into the bottle until you have it 1/3 full.
  • cyclone-in-a-bottle-experiment-step-2Attach the Cyclone Connector to the bottle with the water in it.
  • Then attach the empty bottle to the other end.
  • cyclone-in-a-bottle-experiment-step-3Invert the bottle and move the top bottle in a clockwise circular direction.
  • The water will move in that circular direction and start to form a vortex (our cyclone).


Watch how is moves and spins. Try different things in the bottle.

Check out the ‘Wacky Science’ video of this experiment and ‘What’s Going On’ series link. They are currently ‘In Production’, so check back soon…..

Wacky Science Ep

What's Going On?










This easy experiment shows the power of vortex. Although the experiment is easy, the explanation of how the vortex forms is complex fluid physics.

It is a combination of gravity pulling the water down, momentum of the water moving in a circle (inside the bottle), air pressure differences between the upper bottle and lower bottle as well as surface tension of water.

The easy explanation is:Whirlpool

– As you spin the bottle the water inside moves around, pushing against the sides of the bottle.

– This pushing against the bottle creates an opposite push against the water into the centre (called centripetal force…… for those bright sparks).

– Gravity pulls the water down and in the middle of the water a vortex starts to form.

– The water in the middle of the bottle spins faster than the outside of the bottle and the vortex gets bigger. (Similar to how ice skaters spin faster when they bring their arms into their body).

– As the water enters the lower section of the bottle, air passes upwards into the upper section of the bottle to equal air pressure.


If you would like

– more details,

– pictures of the second half of the experiment

– information on how to investigate this further

– links to everyday examples

– management hints & teaching pointers (5P Teacher develpoment program)

 ….. then why not subscribe to one of the following


(1) Crazy science Club

Crazy Science Club slider5

(2) 5P Teacher Training course called ‘Looney Lab  Classroom Creations

Looney Lab Classroom Creations2


Or you can purchase the ‘Bright Sparkes Guide’ of this demonstration only ($2.50) which has:

  • HD pictures of experiment steps
  • Detailed explanation of science
  • Mini-challenge section (another experiment)
  • Making it a ‘Scientific Method’ experience
  • Graphing opportunities
  • REAL links and descriptions to everyday examples of concept.