Tornado in Jar




About: I am IT professional, living in Bangalore, India. As new gadgets come out everyday, we indulge in spending significant time and money on these gadgets. And our kids are learning from us, they know how to use...

Last year I saw a video on Youtube, it was simple to make. Just have a jar with water, some sparkles and liquid soap. Simply shape the jar and wonderful tornado would appear. The tornado would die soon and needed to stir it often.

My solution : Magnetic stirrer

Magnetic Stirrer are used in labs to stir liquids during some kind of experiment. This will create tornado and will not die, at-least till the battery is good

Watch "Tornado in jar" on YouTube -

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Step 1: What You Need?


1. Two large & strong magnets
2. Two small strong magnets
3. 12V DC fan
4. 9v Battery and connector
5. Small switch
6. Some wood
7. RGB LED Strip / just Blue LED Strip
8. Glass Jar(s)
9. Heat shrunk tube
10. Wires
11. Cold Cream Cap


1. Soldering Iron
2. Soldering wire
3. Cutter
4. Hex-saw

5. Drilling machine
6. Paper tape
7. Black acrylic paint

Step 2: Concept

As we have learnt

1. Like poles repel
2. unlike poles attract

In the base two magnets are rotated in fast speed, that makes the small magnets in the jar move in similar direction and speed

Step 3: Wooden Base

We need a good strong base, to be sure that kid cannot poke their fingers in it or any other kind of injury

I used wood to built the base, Size just to include the fan and a 9 V battery. Using drill machine drill holes in the wood and fix them together in rectangle.

Remember did not leave any space so the fan was quite tightly fitted

Used a thick cardboard as top lid. Cut out the piece to fit the cold cream cap. Cold cream cap is semi transparent. This is useful for LED lights

Step 4: Lights, Fan and Stirrer

Lights :A rgb LED strip, which works on 12v was used. I replaced the red led with the blue led.

Using paper tape stick the led strip in place ( center of the lid )

Fan : Stick strong magnets on the fan, remember that the North pole of one magnet and south pole of other should point upwards

Magnetic Stirrer : This is the most tricky part

I used 5MM X 5mm n52 magnets. One North pole up and south pol of other. Used 5mm heat shrunk tube And using soldering iron seal them as shown

You can try different shapes, I experimented with the lengths and shapes, but the ones above worked fine

Step 5: Problems

Problem 1 : The glass jar available are not exactly flat

I have used pickle and olives bottles, which do not have flat bottom. the stirrer bounces inside the jar and the tornado gets killed.

Problem 2 : Stirrer magnets size and shape

My magnets were 5MM X 5MM, not good. You should use 5MM X 2MM that would reduce toggles

Problem 3 : Water weight and Surface tension

Add some liquid soap to the water. Reduce water in the jar or use smaller jar

Problem 4 : Speed of fan

Faster the fan goes, faster the stirrer goes and may cause stirrer to bounce. Control it by using lower volts or a variable resister ( 1K ohms ).

Step 6: Switch Off Lights and Relax

I made it with two different jars with different length stirrer

I switch the jars and watch

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15 Discussions


3 years ago

Whao! This is cool. I wrote about Making Tornado In a bottle, but the method you shared here is completely different from the one i read. Would give this one a try as well


4 years ago on Introduction

I need to buy 2 5mmx2mm magnet how about other 2? If i buy 2 magnet sized 20x20x2 is that will be ok? or is it important to square or rounded shape for fan?

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago

should work, round / square does not matter. they should be flat. and should be able to fit on fan. remember one north pole up and for other south pole up.


4 years ago on Introduction

Note that commercial spinbars have a centered bump to help keep them centered and reduce drag. Adding a spherical, non-magnetic piece inside the heat shrink at the center might help stabilize your homemade spinbar.

1 reply

4 years ago on Introduction

1st, could you upload a video of it turned on? I want to make this for my two nieces(6 and 4 years). 2nd, Why is soap necessary? You explain it in another comment, but I don't get it :/. Looks cool man btw :)

3 replies

Reply 4 years ago

1 to reduce surface tension
2 it make small bubbles, with light gives nice effect. kids cannot notice with plain water


Reply 4 years ago

We need to reduce surface tension of water. Liquid soap is easily available. I feel bit scared to use items my wife's kitchen


4 years ago

Wow! So cool;)

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4 years ago on Introduction

That is so cool its just like the 2 liter bottle trick just it keeps going on and on.

I'm going to make that for sure!